The company's Lodge Lane factory in Cannock opened in 1991. The investment project, which included a new kiln, started in January 2017 with the factory being fully commissioned by the end of March this year.

The factory manufactures four types of blue brick - with its most popular being the Staffordshire Slate Blue Smooth - in 65mm, 73mm and solids. The factory also has a specials department which makes a variety of different shaped bricks including sills, plinths, bullnose, and chamfered.

Whilst blue bricks will be the main manufacturing focus, Lodge Lane also has the capability to manufacture red bricks

Factory manager Richard Hall says the investment at the Cannock site is a real commitment to the future of blue brick manufacturing. He commented: “The new kiln gives us increased capacity and the ability to produce up to 28 million bricks every year. It is the boost that the site needed and gives us a really good foundation to build on for the future. There is a lot of tradition in blue brick manufacturing and we are carrying this on and since we have increased production we have seen growing demand for these products.”

Ibstock Brick, part of Ibstock plc, is the biggest manufacturer of clay bricks sold in the UK, with 20 manufacturing plants producing more than 850,000 new bricks per annum,