Major construction company Thermosash has announced they are setting up business in Levin.
Thermosash will be the first tenant at a new business park under development in Roe St in Levin, and have plans to custom build a 4329m2 facade and cladding manufacturing facility - one of the largest facilities of its kind in the North Island.
Company director of Thermosash Commercial, Dave Rooker, says their decision to move to Horowhenua has been reinforced following the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Our head office is in Auckland and we have manufacturing plants in Auckland and Christchurch. The decision to locate key manufacturing and distribution facilities in Horowhenua was supported by the ability to purpose-build a facility, so we are really excited.
"We've increased the size of the land we've purchased because we believe so strongly that Horowhenua is the right place for our business.
"With so much uncertainty around the economy, the move to Horowhenua is a low-risk investment with a good return. We're well connected to Wellington and the Central North Island, without the traffic congestion and the vulnerability that comes from being in densely populated areas.
"The ability to also service Auckland demand via highly efficient backhaul logistics also helps to make Horowhenua a great place to relocate."
Thermosash wanted to commit to the region by using local tradespeople and sourcing staff locally, he said.
"We're moving here because of what it means to do business in Horowhenua. There are some very successful examples of how business works here, and we're committed to becoming a part of this community. We want to support local wherever possible, and are using local electricians, plumbers, civil and structural contractors for our build."
After 47 years in business, and with over three years of work booked in advance, including the Wellington Convention Centre, he said local people will play a key role in the growth of the company.
"We prefer to train in house, find the right people with the right attitudes and grow them through the business. We'll be looking to recruit, and invest in locals as soon as possible - including the build and fit out stage - to supplement our experienced workforce that are looking to relocate or commute to Levin."
The business park is a Horowhenua New Zealand Trust initiative, in partnership with Electra.
Trustee and spokesperson Evan Kroll said it hoped to attract more businesses to Horowhenua, alongside providing space for local businesses to grow.
"Nationally, it's well known that finding the right industrial space is hard. You have to factor in logistics, workforce as well as the right physical space. Covid-19 has added a whole other dimension to this issue.
"With the four-lane Ōtaki to North of Levin expressway going ahead, and a local economy grounded in the essential industries - Horowhenua is perfectly placed to grow through what is likely to be a really difficult time."