Manufacturer’s planned tissue paper mill to create more than 400 jobs

Finnish tissue paper manufacturer, Metsä Tissue, has chosen Goole, for a UK investment worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

It has picked this location, a site bordering bordered Rawcliffe Road, for a planned new state-of-the-art tissue paper mill in the UK.

The facility, which the company says will be the largest tissue mill in the UK, will significantly cut the quantity of tissue products that are currently imported into the UK and Ireland each year.

Metsä Tissue, which is part of Metsä Group, says the mill will create more than 400 direct jobs, as well as thousands more across the supply chain and the local economy.

From left, Andrew Percy, MP for Brigg & Goole, Esa Kaikkonen, CEO of Metsä Tissue and Dominic Gibbons, managing director of Wykeland Group

Esa Kaikkonen, CEO, said: “Goole is the perfect location for this proposed investment.

“The Humber region provides a crucial gateway to the whole of the United Kingdom and the region’s ambitions to bring cutting-edge green technology and jobs to the UK matches our ambitions in clean, sustainable manufacturing.”

Up to 45% of tissue products are currently imported into the UK and Ireland. Metsä Tissue explains it aims to replace almost half of the imported products with local British production, using fresh fibre pulp as the main raw material from forests in the Nordics.

Subject to planning and environmental permits and a final investment decision, the site will occupy an area of around 200 acres and will have capacity to produce 240,000 tons of tissue paper. The mill would be built in several phases over the next decade.

Property developer Wykeland, which has long-term development rights to the Rawcliffe Road site, has worked with Metsä Tissue to enable the development. Sale of the site by Wykeland to Metsä Tissue is subject to planning approval for the facility.

The mill would be the first major investment in the proposed Goole tax site within the Humber Freeport, which aims to accelerate inward investment in the Humber region.

Wykeland managing director, Dominic Gibbons, said: “We identified the potential of this site a few years ago and secured a development agreement on the land 18 months ago. We’re now delighted to have secured a major international investor so soon to realise that potential.

“We have worked closely with Metsä Tissue since the end of last year to support their ambitions to establish a world-class facility on the site and bring hundreds of new jobs to the region.

“We will continue to support Metsä Tissue through the planning process.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Metsä Tissue’s investment is good for Yorkshire, good for our economy and good for sustainability. 

“This announcement is another example of the UK being the first choice for European investment.”

Kaikkonen added: “This exciting investment would bring the UK and Finland together through combining the sustainable raw material of fresh wood fibres grown in the Nordics with world-class local production of quality tissues in the UK.

“We are thrilled about how these plans can contribute to more sustainable local tissue production in the UK, offering alternatives to the currently imported tissue products.”

From left, Alan Jeffery, technical director, Metsä Tissue, Councillor Anne Handley, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Dominic Gibbons, managing director of Wykeland Group and Mika Paljakka, senior vice president, UK and Ireland, Metsä Tissue

Minister for Investment, Lord Dominic Johnson, said: “This is a huge vote of confidence in Goole, Yorkshire and Humberside.

“With hundreds of millions of pounds being committed, and thousands of jobs being created at both the new site and in the wider supply chain, this will have huge benefits for workers and businesses in Goole and many communities across East Riding, Yorkshire, Humberside and North Lincolnshire.

“We know Yorkshire is one of the best places in the country to invest, and today’s announcement by Metsä further cements this.”

Metsä Tissue currently operates nine mills across Europe. The planned Goole mill would be the company’s biggest in terms of scale of investment and production.