Kemsley Mill

Welcome to Kemsley Paper Mill

Step inside the UK's largest Paper Mill in our 360 virtual tour

Take the Virtual Tour

Follow the papermaking process from our quality hub to dispatch, learn how all the machines work, and meet the people that make it all possible.

What you can see on the tour:

  • Recycling quality hub – learn about our rigorous quality checks and standards when paper arrives at the mill
  • Stockyard - find out how we pick the perfect blend of fibres to make our high quality papers
  • Pulper – this is where we process fibres ready for our papermaking machines
  • Paper machine – discover how pulp is turned into paper
  • Paper quality testing lab – see how we put our products through its paces, so we can ensure our paper is of the highest quality
  • Warehouse – meet our Automated Guided Vehicles and watch how they work
  • Dispatch – Now our paper is ready to head off to our packaging plants all over Europe, ready to be turned back into new products

About Kemsley Mill

Kemsley Mill is the largest mill for recycled papers in the UK, and the second largest in Europe. It was originally built by Frank Lloyd in 1924 to produce newsprint. At that time, its four paper machines were the largest in the world.

The mill has an annual production capacity of around 830,000 tonnes and is the second biggest recovered fibre-based paper operation in Europe. In 2008, DS Smith invested over £100m to purchase and rebuild PM6 to make lightweight corrugated case material (CCM). Kemsley Mill produces Light Medium, the first recycled lightweight paper manufactured in the UK.

The majority of our products are converted into board and boxes for packaging. The remaining produce is used for specialist papers. All of our finished paper products are 100% recyclable and sustainably sourced. By continually investing in the latest papermaking technologies, we can produce the highest quality of papers.

    Grammage range: 115-280 g/m2
    Production: 290,000 tonnes/year
    Speed max: 1,100 m/min
    Trim max: 5.45 m
    Grammage range: 125-210 g/m2
    Production: 250,000 tonnes/year
    Speed max: 770 m/min
    Trim max: 6.20 m
    Grammage range: 85-130 g/m2
    Production: 290,000 tonnes/year
    Speed max: 1,100 m/min
    Trim max: 6.75 m

Some of our key dates

  • 1924
    Kemsley Mill was built by Frank Lloyd commencing production in 1924, originally to produce newsprint
  • 1936
    Bowater’s acquired and expanded Kemsley Mill, increasing output on all machines
  • 1970s
    Kemsley had diversified into the production of corrugated case materials and fine papers. A pulp mill was added to produce semi-chemical fluting and PM3 was given a new multi-ply wet end with the ‘Manchester Former’ configuration to produce corrugated case liner
  • 1980s
    UK Paper completed a management buy-out and the site was split in two. The CCM operation was sold on to St Regis and the fine paper operation remained with UK Paper
  • 1986
    St Regis became part of DS Smith and, since then, its history has been one of constant investment and reshaping to turn it into the UK’s leading papermaker
  • 2008
    DS Smith acquired the entire site and began a heavy programme of investment in new infrastructure, ensuring a long and commercially successful future for Kemsley Mill in the 21st century
  • 2012
    Rebuild of PM3 to enable production of high quality White Liner
  • 2018
    Gas produced is recovered, cleaned and injected into National Grid by our Anaerobic Digester, reducing Kemsley's carbon footprint
  • 2020
    Energy from Waste plant commercially operational and Warehouse B becomes fully automated