MDF mouldings specialist W Howard has invested more than £1m in a new collection and distribution depot in Thurrock.

The 15,000ft² site will hold an almost-identical stockholding to W Howard’s Manchester facility and will provide timber and builders merchants in and around the M25 with a 24-hour collection service or delivery within 48 hours.

W Howard, which will use its own vehicles to deliver products, will have a strict policy on only supplying products to timber and builders merchants.

“We identified the area as one with the most growth potential,” said W Howard’s marketing manager, Claire Mountford. “We realised the London area needs quick service and that customers want to be able to get products as fast as possible.”

With much of the London Olympics development on its doorstep, W Howard is hoping to be able to benefit from the knock-on effects of its customers seeing a surge in demand for products.

“Although we won’t be supplying products directly to the Olympics, we hope that merchants who are will use the facility,” said Ms Mountford.

The depot will be opening for business on August 3, with an ‘official’ open day on August 21. The company is currently recruiting for “three or four” positions, although more people will be taken on as the depot’s business grows.

W Howard is hoping the new depot will further increase the company’s share of the UK mouldings market. “Despite the tough market conditions, we’re confident merchant customers will use the new facility because it offers a faster service,” added Ms Mountford.