The establishment of a major manufactory on a sparsely inhabited heathland was the gathering of the people to staff it. Fortunately there were towns nearby and means of access were available by road and rail.
Initially the core staff were deployed from the Royal Gunpowder Factory at Waltham Abbey where Cordite had been made for 20 years. However, these were few in number and an early start was made recruiting and sending people to Waltham Abbey for training. A similar process took place 25 years later when the Royal Naval Propellant Factory was established in Caerwent and Holton Heath, in its turn, provided staff and training.