A KEIGHLEY-based company has been chosen to produce personal protective equipment for the NHS in the battle against Covid-19.

PFF Packaging Group, whose usual line is food packaging, has been recruited by the Department for Health and Social Care to manufacture disposable aprons.

The contract will see the firm, which has its headquarters in Royd Ings Avenue, produce over 360 million plastic aprons across a nine-month period.

PFF has invested more than £1 million to facilitate the new product line, with new machines and specialist plastic film.

A dedicated production area has been created at the company’s site in Washington, Tyne and Wear, where manufacturing is taking place around the clock.

More than 100 additional workers have been taken on for the duration of the contract.

Kenton Robbins, PFF’s group managing director, says: “As an established British manufacturer, our sector knowledge and experience meant we were well placed to work closely with the Department for Health and Social Care to move quickly through the governance processes.

“We were quick to recognise that we have the in-house production, quality control and logistical expertise to accommodate the new line.

“Some 210 million plastic aprons are needed every week by NHS frontline and social care staff.

“With production well under way, we feel we really are making a difference.

“PFF is proud to be helping the NHS as well as creating opportunities for work in these most challenging of times.”

The company is one of the UK’s largest independent food packaging manufacturers and it has continued to supply the food retail sector through the pandemic.

Its customers range from small businesses to major names in the industry.

It makes packaging for products including meat, poultry, fish, bread, porridge, noodles, soups, ready meals, chilled foods, ice-cream and other dairy items.

A 113-strong workforce is based at the Keighley site, where the 100,000sqft facility includes design elements.

A further 100-plus staff are housed at the Washington production plant and an adjacent innovation centre, which was opened in 2016 to provide concept designs and prototypes.