Scott Bros is extending the operating hours of its ‘urban quarry’ to meet a huge rise in demand for sharp sand.

The family-run firm has already created an extra job as it ramps up production of its £1m state-of-the-art wash plant which converts construction and excavation waste into high quality sand and aggregate.

The demand is driven by an upswing in construction and has prompted Stockton-based Scott Bros to extend the plant’s normal weekday operation to include Saturdays.

Director Peter Scott said: “The demand for sharp sand continues to rise. During lockdown we built up a decent stockpile but that’s long gone, and we now have the situation where wagons are queuing to load up as soon as the sand has been processed.

“We have created one new job so that we can operate on Saturdays, but more may follow. The wash plant produces 100 tonnes of sharp sand a day and we can’t produce enough of it, which is an encouraging sign for the local economy.”

The demand is being fuelled by the reopening of construction projects, in particular house building, as well as groundwork projects, including landscaping and block paving. The sand is particularly suitable for making high-quality concrete as the plant’s horizontal cyclone is highly efficient at removing impurities, including lignite.

Scott Bros is currently in the process of seeking planning permission to invest £3m in installing a second and much larger wash plant off John Boyle Road, South Bank – next to the former British Steel site.

It is estimated that this could create a further 11 jobs and secure the future of the firm’s 120-strong workforce. The current wash plant processes 50 tonnes of inert material per hour, while the proposed second plant is capable of processing 150 tonnes per hour.

Peter Scott added: “Our investment in the initial wash plant more than demonstrates the strong market for commercially viable and environmentally sustainable products, including sharp sand.

“We are pleased to contribute to this region’s circular economy, ensuring we use our resources more wisely, and hopefully we can expand our capabilities even more in future.”