Hurfords unveil plans for Kyogle's Norply site
By HELEN JACK firstname.lastname@example.org
THE old Norply factory site in Kyogle will not stand empty for much longer, thanks to Andrew Hurford.
The owner of Hurfords Building Supplies has just sealed a deal to take possession of the historic site with plans to extend his company's timber milling operations.
"We want to use it to grow our hardwood processing business," said Mr Hurford.
"The first step in our plans is to build a new sawmill on the site."
Mr Hurford said he and Hurfords' board of directors hoped to extend their operation by adding hardwood processing.
"We want to establish kiln drying processing to produce hardwood flooring products," he said.
Construction of the new plant, located north of the town on the Murwillumbah Road, will start next year.
A spokeswoman for Kyogle Council was unable to comment on the proposal because no plans had yet been submitted to council.
The Norply factory burnt down on September 15, 2005. It's suspected an electrical fault caused the blaze.
Mr Hurford began negotiations to buy the site last year. Over 140 people lost their jobs because of the fire.
News of Hurfords plans to establish a similar operation has been received with joy in Kyogle.
Owner of Kyogle's Bridge Street Motors, Richard Creighton, thought it was wonderful that Hurfords had the confidence in the town to build their operation there.
"Our town suffered, but people rallied to help those out of work," he said.
"It's amazing to see how the people of the town got together to help each other. A lot of businesses took on Norply workers."