Packaging firm Essentra is investing in a sixfold expansion of its operations in Newport, UK, which will create 170 additional jobs.

The move emerges after Essentra’s announcement in November that it will bolster its Newport operations by adding 70 jobs.

Work under the proposed expansion includes the creation of a Centre of Excellence for the production of labels and foil, cartons manufacturing and an on-site structural and graphic design studio.

The facility will feature two new label machines, a carton production line, a block foiling machine and computer-to-print equipment, PackagingNews reported.

The project is being backed by a £400,000 grant from the government of Wales.

Welsh Government economy minister Edwina Hart said: "This is excellent news and another significant investment by the company in world class manufacturing facilities at its Newport campus.

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"Wales has a notable strength in the pharmaceuticals services sector, which will be enhanced by this latest investment by Essentra."

"Essentra is rapidly expanding its operations in Newport and I am delighted the Welsh Government is supporting their investment and the creation of jobs."

The expansion will bring the total number of employees at Newport site to 330.

Hart added: "Life sciences are one of our key economic sectors and take centre stage as the BioWales international conference and exhibition opens in Cardiff tomorrow.

"We have seen significant growth and investment in the sector over the last five years, with jobs increasing by more than 5% annually during that period.

"Wales has a notable strength in the pharmaceuticals services sector, which will be enhanced by this latest investment by Essentra."

Essentra has 69 manufacturing facilities, 54 sales and distribution operations and five research and development centres in more than 30 countries.

Image: Welsh Government economy minister Edwina Hart. Photo: courtesy of National Assembly For Wales / Cynulliad Cymru.