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Russells supports expansion of Rossendale’s biggest employer

Andrew Russell attends the ribbon cutting by Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry at JJO in Rawttenstall

Russells Construction is set to complete work on a new extension for kitchen, bedroom and bathroom manufacturer J and J Ormerod (JJO) in Rawttenstall.

The turnkey project has seen Russells create a £750,000 one-stop trade shop, rebuilding on the site of the former Jacobson’s warehouse just off Bacup Road in Cloughfold.

Director Andrew Russell was invited to join JJO joint managing director Stephen Greenhalgh and Northern Powerhouse Minister, and local MP Jake Berry to cut the ribbon.

Andrew said: “It’s great to see the minister here cutting the ribbon on a project we’ve been involved with for quite some time, providing a turn-key service from planning application to build-completion. Working very closely with our client, the project has gone extremely well, completed on programme and on budget, and will be ready by Christmas.”

JJO will begin the interior fit out in the New Year and the new Trade Shop is expected to open by May. It will be called Marshall House, named after long-term director of JJO Kenneth Marshall who sadly lost his battle with cancer last year.

The new facility will replace the existing trade department which is currently based at Rossendale Interiors in Stacksteads, but the slow route through the Valley has made access hard work for customers and parking can be difficult. Marshall House will display the firm’s product range and is likely to lead to further expansion of the team.

Stephen Greenhalgh said: “Everything for the trade customer will be in one central location and it will be much easier to access than trekking across the Valley; it will also provide the company with a visual street presence. Staff with have more suitable offices and we’ll have better facilities for meeting clients.

“We would hope, if it is successful, it will lead to an increase in customers and then there will be potential for more jobs in the future.”

JJO celebrated 150 years in business in 2018 and employs more than 400 people. The development is a significant investment and follows the acquisition of nearby Victoria Works in 2015, which is home to the company’s bathroom department.

Minister Jake Berry hailed the investment and growth of the business. He said: “Creating a growing Northern economy is about seeing businesses like JJO PLC investing in Rawtenstall and not just in people but also into the infrastructure and buildings.

“It is amazing that we have here in the Rossendale Valley one of the finest furniture businesses, that is testament to the long term commitment of the Greenhalgh family and all of the employees.

“This is just the latest move in the steady expansion for this national locally-based business.

“The long term the future of Britain’s economy, and Lancashire’s, is going to be driven by high technology, high skills and high value products and definitely by businesses like JJO PLC.”