JCB has announced plans to invest £150 million to expand its operations in Staffordshire and create an additional 2,500 jobs by 2018, which will in turn add a further 7,500 jobs in the UK supply chain (a recent Oxford Economics study concluded that for every 1 JCB job, there are 3 others in the UK supply chain).
To mark the announcement, The Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt. Hon. George Osborne MP will visit JCB’s backhoe loader factory in Rocester, Staffordshire. His visit comes the day after he delivered his Autumn Statement, in which he committed Government funding to unlock economic growth in Staffordshire with a major road improvement project on the A50 trunk road in Uttoxeter.
The Chancellor will be hosted by JCB Chairman, Lord Bamford, who will confirm the five-year investment plans for Staffordshire as part of a wider global growth strategy to expand sales and increase market share.
The £150 million plans*, which represent the single largest investment in JCB’s history, include:
· A brand-new purpose-built 350,000 sq. ft. factory for JCB Cab Systems in Beamhurst, near Uttoxeter, to replace the current smaller facility in Rugeley. It will also enable JCB to in-source production of cabs currently made by third party suppliers in Europe.
· Expansion of JCB’s production operations in Rocester with an additional 126,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space to increase hydraulic cylinder production.
· A brand-new, purpose-built 220,000 sq. ft. factory on the Harewood Industrial Estate in Cheadle, Staffordshire to expand existing JCB Earthmovers and JCB Compact Products operations, allowing JCB Utility Products to relocate to this site from the current smaller factory elsewhere in the town.
· Relocation of the existing JCB Finance and JCB Insurance offices in Rocester to new purpose-designed, high-quality office accommodation at nearby Harper Meadow in Denstone.
· A new in-house training facility for JCB staff, to be run in conjunction with key universities to support apprenticeship and graduate training programmes.
* All of the above are subject to planning consent from the relevant local authorities in Staffordshire
Lord Bamford said: "The Chancellor’s announcement of the major A50 road improvement project is good news for businesses in this area. It allows companies like JCB to plan ahead with confidence, knowing that the road network will not constrain business growth and future investment."
He added: "Our plan to create 2,500 high-quality manufacturing jobs locally is clear evidence of the important link between infrastructure improvement and job creation. The Chancellor’s decision to invest in the regional infrastructure means JCB can continue to invest locally, which is good for Staffordshire and good for Britain, especially given the wider benefits to our UK supply chain."
The projected growth in machine output from Staffordshire factories will be supported by an increase in production of components from factories elsewhere in the UK, including engines from JCB Power Systems in Foston, Derbyshire, and axles and gearboxes from JCB Transmissions in Wrexham, North Wales.
During his visit to JCB, The Chancellor will meet with senior company executives and will be introduced to employees in the backhoe loader factory, including welding operatives in the manufacturing cells and assembly line operatives on the production line where the iconic yellow JCB diggers are assembled.
The Chancellor will also meet five apprentices who recently joined JCB; Adam Varley (20) from Stoke-on-Trent; Leila Worsey (17) from Hilton, Derbyshire; Sam Tooth (21) from Kingsley, Staffordshire; Jack McDonagh (17) from Branston, Staffordshire; Chris Hoye (28) from Newcastle-under-Lyme. Adam, Leila and Jack have joined JCB from the acclaimed JCB Academy for 14-19 year olds, located in nearby Rocester.
Mr Osborne will conclude his visit with a short speech to employees, to congratulate them on reaching a key milestone in JCB’s history by selling its one millionth machine during 2013. Over half a million of these were backhoe loaders, which is an innovative machine range that celebrates its 60th birthday this year.
He will also welcome the fact that JCB – a global company with 11 plants in the UK and 11 plants overseas – is committed to a programme of further investment in the UK and is expected to pledge Government support to help drive business and economic growth in the regions through investment in infrastructure projects, such as the A50 scheme which will benefit many businesses in Staffordshire and Derbyshire.