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Companies Join Forces After flood To Keep Biscuit Production Flowing

Carlisle-based manufacturers United Biscuits have recently overcome the effects of a natural disaster with the help of leading modular building supplier Portakabin.

Not only did Portakabin provide the necessary buildings to ensure production could continue, the company also provided a full range of additional services – climate control, fire and security systems, access ramps and steps, data connections and office furniture – providing the customer with a complete one-stop-shop solution.

At the beginning of the year the United Biscuits manufacturing facility was devastated when three converging rivers in Carlisle burst their banks.

The flooding caused the entire ground level of the plant, including offices and manufacturing facilities, to become submerged in up to nine feet of water. Once the water had subsided the organisation’s first job was to assess the amount of damage and begin the initial clean-up operation.

To enable the company to continue biscuit production during this time, interim buildings were needed to house certain key functions.

The firm’s insurers, Zurich, called in approved supplier Portakabin to provide accommodation on site as quickly as possible.

A team from Portakabin visited the Carlisle plant to assess the company’s requirements and quickly installed three high-quality buildings at the United Biscuits site.

The first Portakabin building acts as a security reception, fitted with disabled facilities including a toilet and kitchen. The second building is a large Portakabin Titan building, which has become the plant’s occupational health centre, complete with two treatment rooms, a waiting room, toilets, a testing area and an office. The third building has been designed and constructed as a micro-lab, providing a clean, well-equipped environment for the firm’s technical teams to work in.

John Cheshire of the United Biscuits engineering department said: ’Portakabin provided everything we needed to get these essential buildings up and running as quickly as possible. Once they were delivered, all the extra services were installed within a few days and by the end of the week our employees had started to move in and use the new facilities.

‘The installation went very smoothly, and the buildings were sited within a matter of hours. We now have good quality interim buildings in which key functions can operate effectively, enabling us to concentrate on getting our factory back to production.’

To find out how you could benefit from Portakabin One-Stop-Shop Solutions, call your local Hire Centre direct on 0845 355 0350 or visit


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