Thorn Lighting opens new plant in County Durham

Thorn Lighting has opened a £32m factory and training centre in Spennymoor, County Durham, marking the largest investment in the manufacture of lighting equipment in the UK for 70 years.

Thorn manufactures more than 7000 different types of low energy fluorescent fittings. The 40 000 m2 building also hosts a manufacturing facility for parent group Zumtobel’s Tridonic Atco luminaire components business. Overall, the operation employs approximately 700 people.

To maximise efficiency and cut costs, the factory’s new production operation incorporates Thorn’s Lean Six Sigma manufacturing methods, which rely on a synchronous flow of materials and parts. Overall, the carbon footprint of production operations has been reduced by a quarter, aided by a biomass boiler and modern lighting solutions.

The Spennymoor site also incorporates the Academy of Light training facility, designed to provide customers and sales staff with application-specific guidance.

Andreas Ludwig, the CEO of Thorn’s parent company Zumtobel Group said that the new facility was “the largest single investment we have ever made in the single biggest market we serve”, and that it had been opened to “meet the challenges of a competitive marketplace.”