Wykeland Group secures deal to enable development of UK’s largest tissue paper mill

Leading property developer Wykeland Group has exchanged on a deal to pave the way for an investment of several hundreds of millions of pounds to create the UK’s largest tissue paper mill.

Wykeland has worked with leading Finnish tissue paper manufacturer Metsä Tissue to enable the landmark development, proposed to be built in several phases over the coming decade on a 211-acre site in Goole, East Yorkshire. Sale of the site by Wykeland to Metsä Tissue is subject to planning approval for the facility.

Metsä Tissue, part of Metsä Group, plans to create over 400 jobs on site during that timescale, with thousands of indirect jobs generated across the supply chain and local economy.

The state-of-the-art facility will significantly reduce the quantity of tissue products imported into the UK and Ireland. The mill will increase the UK’s self-sufficiency by more than 30 per cent in the manufacture of essential tissue products, using the latest in sustainable production technology.

The announcement of the planned investment follows an agreement between Wykeland, which has long-term development rights to the site, and Metsä Tissue.

Hull-based Wykeland is one of the North of England’s leading property development and investment companies, with a key focus on delivering major projects boosting the economy in Yorkshire and the Humber.

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, bringing to the project our substantial experience within the region of large-scale developments delivering significant economic impact.”

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 and delivers on my commitment to grow the economy, creating better-paid jobs and opportunity right across the country.”

Occupying a 211-acre site, bordered by Rawcliffe Road in Goole and the M62 motorway, the mill will ultimately reach a production capacity of 240,000 ton of tissue paper, serving both the professional and consumer markets – a level of production unrivalled in the UK.

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

The Goole facility will use cutting-edge sustainable production technologies to deliver both efficiency and world-class environmental performance. Metsä Tissue’s activity is rooted in sustainability, with a target for all products to be manufactured from fully fossil fuel-free raw materials by 2030.

Esa Kaikkonen, CEO of Metsä Tissue, 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.”

Metsä Tissue is part of Metsä Group, a Finnish forest industry group that produces recyclable and sustainable products from renewable wood in forests in the Nordics. ​

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.