A NEWPORT housing contractor said it is to create 20 jobs this year following the opening of a new timber frame manufacturing plant.

The jobs at Green Hill follow investment in staff training, technology and facilities, including the £1 million specialist timber frame facility opened by Business Minister Edwina Hart.

The Welsh Government backed the expansion with £146,650 from its economic growth fund.

Total staff numbers have already risen to 145, with 15 new jobs already created at the facility, based at its head office site in Esperanto Way, Newport.

Construction firm Green Hill was set up in 2006 to provide services to registered social landlords.

The firm predicts that its forecast turnover will rise this year by £8 million to £22 million.

Green Hill managing director Darran Watts said: “The funding provided helped us bridge a gap with finance for the purchase of equipment and plant, enabling us to create 15 new jobs in 2012 and potentially another 20 new jobs this year.”

He says the new facility means the firm can provide higherquality products that will speed up the construction process, helping housing associations deliver affordable quality homes. “Green Hill is committed to providing employment opportunities for our staff and trainees, apprentices and people returning to work – providing tangible benefits to the local community where we work,” he added. Ms Hart said: “Investments like this not only support the sector but also play an important part in delivering the homes we need here in Wales, now and in the future.”