JCB Heavy Products has completed the first phase of its move to a new purpose-built factory – representing a £40 million investment in its Staffordshire manufacturing operations.
Work on the new facility next to the A50 at Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, started last year and its completion represents an opportunity to capitalise on future growth potential when the construction equipment markets recover.
Now the first 155 office and shopfloor employees have transferred from the historic town centre factory in Pinfold Street, Uttoxeter, to the brand new 450,000 sq ft facility. The remaining 400 employees will move in phases between now and next Spring.
JCB CEO Matthew Taylor said: “The new Heavy Products factory represents an opportunity for JCB to grow its tracked and wheeled excavator business substantially once the global construction markets have recovered from the downturn currently being experienced. As part of the move, we have invested very heavily in new production equipment which will enable us to take the quality of our excavator product to new heights. JCB's range of JS excavators have impressed customers around the world with their power, efficiency and design and this substantial investment means we can build on that reputation.
“The new factory also offers our employees a very high-tech and modern environment and will significantly improve working conditions. This is a very exciting phase in the development of the JCB Heavy Products business.”
JCB Heavy Products manufactures a range of 25 tracked and wheeled excavators from seven to 46 tonnes. The first machines to roll off the production lines of the new factory next week will be wheeled and zero tailswing tracked excavators.
The move will enable JCB to increase production capacity by more than 60 per cent in the future and will help the company spearhead its drive to increase its global market share of the tracked and wheeled excavator market.
JCB announced the move to the new site last year, paving the way for the company to vacate its plant in Pinfold Street. The relocation of the factory represents an opportunity to redevelop the town centre site and contribute to the wider renaissance of Uttoxeter, a town with which the Bamford family has links stretching back almost 200 years.
JCB Chairman Sir Anthony Bamford is personally involved in the project to redevelop the site in order to leave a “legacy” to the town. He instigated a Royal Institute of Architects' (RIBA) architectural competition to come up with an award-winning design idea for the scheme. The competition has entered its final phase with two companies from an original shortlist of six selected to take the project to the next stage by producing further design work for the proposed redevelopment of the twenty-two acre site.