Kodak is doing today what many are hoping to do tomorrow - which makes the plant this year's winner of winners.
The Kodak factory at Annesley near Nottingham, situated on a 569-acre site, is roomy by anyone's standards and positively palatial for a mere 384 employees. It is nonetheless a small cog, albeit a crucial one, in a giant Kodak company which employs 85,000. Annesley is one of only five Kodak film packaging plants outside the US. Its role is to take in and slit down the 54in-wide drums of 6,000ft-long raw film from Kodak's Rochester, New York factory, and to keep its share of the company's worldwide distribution units supplied with films. From 17 base types of raw film stock come 299 final packaged products: different speeds, lengths, pack sizes and languages. Eighty per cent of output is exported, mostly to the rest of Europe and the Middle East. Annesley's employees have to work in the dark. Until the film is safely packed away, teams of operatives work together in darkened rooms, loading, unloading and operating machinery. This could easily prove to be a manufacturing nightmare but, like most situations at the plant, it is handled impeccably, using specialist training and good communication skills.