WORK to transform a blighted industrial estate is paying off after one company revealed it is ploughing millions into a new plant.

A £4.1m scheme to upgrade Dalton Industrial Estate, near Thirsk, is underway with the replacement of a bridge over Cod Beck after years of chaos caused by flooding.

Now Wetherby Group, which makes cements, renders, mortars and tile adhesives, is spending £4m expanding its manufacturing plant on the estate. It has also taken on five new staff who were made redundant at 3M, a plant in Northallerton that closed.

The family firm moved to Dalton in 2002, after originally setting up on the Thorp Arch Trading Estate at Wetherby, and have now increased the base from four acres to ten as the company has expanded.

Alex Chalmers, managing director, said: “We have ambitious plans for future investment and for the future growth of the business, and it will be at Dalton. The facility is capable of making about 200,000 tonnes per annum; we are well equipped for future growth.

“We have decided to do this at Dalton because it is a great location, very central with good access to the motorway network and with a council that is committed to business growth.”

The new bridge is being built and funded through a partnership between businesses on the estate, the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership, North Yorkshire County Council, Hambleton District Council and the Environment Agency. They see Wetherby Group’s investment as a major vote of confidence in the estate.

Cllr Mark Robson, leader of Hambleton District Council, said: “Seeing Wetherby Group expanding on Dalton fits with our long-term aspirations for this important Hambleton-based business park.

“Work to replace the bridge will secure the long-term future of this site and we look forward to seeing other businesses following the Wetherby Group lead.”

Work started on the new bridge, the main entrance to the site, last year and is due to be finished in the summer. The estate has been dogged by flooding problems for years causing major problems for businesses who employ more than 850 people.

It is hoped that more than 1,000 news jobs could be created on the site because of the bridge. Businesses. including structural steel specialist Severfield, Cleveland Steel and Tubes and Wagg pet foods, say it is crucial to their future. The bridge will mean they can guarantee 24-hour deliveries every day of the year from the site.