Mothballed. The Monks Park underground quarry that was re-opened by Hanson Bath & Portland in 2016 is now being mothballed by the Johnston Quarry Group that bought Bath & Portland last year.
Following Johnston Quarry Group's takeover of Bath Stone Group and Bath & Portland last year (see the report here), Bath & Portland's Monks Park Bath Stone underground quarry has now been mothballed and its masonry works at Keynsham closed.
Nicholas Johnston, who owns the Johnston Quarry Group and Bath Stone Group (which retains its name), says he wants to concentrate on increasing production from Bath Stone Group's Stoke Hill underground quarry, where a third Fantini saw for extraction has been added, as demand is strong for the block.
The Bath & Portland acquisition also included some of the reserves at Hartham Park, although the entrance to the underground quarry there was taken over by Lovell Stone Group in 2016. Bath & Portland said it intended to open a new drive-in entrance to the underground works on land it owned. Nicholas Johnston is proceeding with that plan and wants to site a processing plant near his group's entrance to Hartham Park.
The market has always liked Stoke Ground Bath Stone block from Stoke Hill and the Hartham Park block.
Nicholas Johnston says the works at Keynsham were struggling with some Hanson legacy issues and "…it became clear over the last month or so that there needed to be some realignment of this part of the business."