Claydon, a leader in strip seeding drills has opened new office facilities and a conference centre at its based in Wickhambrook, Suffolk.
The Claydon family have been farming the heavy clay soils of Suffolk since the early 1900s. Jeff and Frank Claydon are the third generation to be farming the land now under the E.T. Claydon and Sons family partnership name.
Jeff Claydon told a recent press conference that the new facilities are part of the company’s expansion plans. Manufacture of Opti-Till drills, Straw Harrows, TerraStar light cultivators, Cambridge Rolls and a new Inter-Row cultivator, have continued to increase in popularity which is the reason behind bigger premises.
The family-owned company now employs 48 staff and supplies over 30 countries. Spencer Claydon, Commercial Director, said, ““The Claydon System is becoming increasingly popular in the difficult economic climate which farmers currently face, namely low commodity prices and high input costs, while difficult-to-control weeds, less effective agrochemicals and a reduction in available products to do the job are making it even more challenging for farming businesses to remain profitable without running down natural resources.
“To support the expansion of our manufacturing operation we have taken on more staff in recent years and wanted to provide them with a high-quality working environment. Every year we host many visits by groups of farmers, dealers and importers from all over the world, which is a core part of our marketing strategy, so it is also important to be able to accommodate visitors in an attractive and comfortable environment.
“The new facilities represent a £500,000 investment and provide a professional image for our company and products, will accommodate our plans to further develop the business and demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the agricultural sector.”
Originally envisaged in 2012, the new offices received planning permission in March 2016 and work on the project started in July, coinciding with the complete restructuring of Claydon’s workshop facilities to cope with increasing orders for the company’s expanding range. Claydon staff completed the ground works, with the construction and fitting out of the building involving suppliers and contractors from across the Anglia region.
Blending in with the existing workshop building and surrounding countryside to minimise their visual impact, the new office facilities are spread over two floors. Covering 365m2 they can accommodate up to 27 full and part-time support staff on the top level, the ground floor being dedicated to visitors, with two meeting rooms, a dealer training facility, a presentation studio which can accommodate 60 people, together with commercial-grade catering facilities. A £100,000 investment in solar technologies provides 100kW/h of electrical energy, helping to reduce the amount of power used at the site and to minimise the company’s carbon footprint.