Swiss £6 million laundry capable of cleaning 500,000 pieces of linen a week opens in Papworth
(C)2019 Philip Mynott Photographer
A £6 million commercial laundry which is capable of washing, drying and pressing 500,000 pieces of linen per week has opened in Papworth.
Swiss Laundry unveiled its latest purpose-built site in Cambridgeshire and plans to create "one of the most technically advanced and environmentally friendly commercial laundries in Europe".
The business, which has a Cambridge heritage dating back to 1904, is the city's largest commercial laundry and provides linen hire and laundry services to tourism, hospitality and university customers.
Part of the Swiss Camplings group, and with sister business Camplings Linen based in Great Yarmouth, the combined group turnover in 2019 was £13m.
While the turnover for Cambridge based Swiss Laundry jumped to £5m in 2019, up from £4.5m in 2018.
The business has spent two years developing a 38,000 square foot laundry in Papworth. Doubling the previous capacity of its former commercial laundry on Cherry Hinton Road.
At its peak, the Papworth laundry will have a capacity for washing, drying and pressing up to 500,000 individual pieces of linen, including bed sheets, towels and napkins, every week. Doubling what was previously possible.
Mark Turvill, Swiss Laundry's commercial director, said: "We're really proud of our roots in Cambridge, and while we needed larger, more modern premises, we wanted to remain close to the city.
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"Some of our employees have worked for us for more than 30 years, so it was important to find a new home where we could take them with us, offering long-term, secure employment.
"Our priority was also to upgrade and invest in the very latest technology, with the aim of minimising our impact on the environment.
"We've made a significant investment in new machines, which will dramatically reduce our water usage per kilogram washed, and, increase the amount of water we're able to recycle and re-use.
A new gravity-powered sky-track is the real showpiece, automatically transporting up to 200 bags via a rail system, around the roof of the laundry.
The rail system transports each piece of linen from wash to final press, with up to 50kg of linen contained in each blue or white bag.
Marina Turvill, former chairperson, worked in the business throughout the 1970's and 1980's.
Her eldest son, Guy, is now chairman of the business and Mrs Turvill says she couldn't be prouder of everything the family business has achieved.
She said: "Since my late husband Keith first acquired shares in Swiss Laundry in the 1930's to today, Swiss Laundry has been successful because the business has always been nurtured, with all family members and our much-valued staff giving it their total commitment.
"I'm extremely proud of the world-class facility we see at Papworth today. It's a real mark of achievement, and a symbol of all the hard work and dedication put into the business, over the years."