Construction and agricultural equipment manufacturer JCB announced on Friday that its planned investment of GBP150m, for expansion of operations in Staffordshire over the next five years, has been welcomed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.
The maker of the JCB iconic yellow diggers added that it expects to create 2,500 jobs by 2018, which will add a further 7,500 jobs in the UK supply chain. According to the company, a recent Oxford Economics study found that for every 1 JCB job, there are 3 others in the UK supply chain. The global company employs approximately 6,000 people in the UK and is said to contribute GBP1.4 billion to the British economy.
Major road improvements to the A50 near Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, announced by the government this week, are expected to reduce congestion on this vital transport link, making it easier for JCB to transport inbound parts and materials and improving the outbound movement of finished products to the JCB global dealers network. According to JCB’s chairman Lord Bamford; companies such as JCB can plan ahead with confidence, knowing that the road network will not constrain business growth and future investment.
JCB’s planned investment is reportedly the largest in its history and includes a brand-new purpose-built 350,000 sq. ft. factory for JCB Cab Systems in Beamhurst, near Uttoxeter, replacing a smaller facility in Rugeley. The new factory will also enable JCB to in-source production of cabs, currently made by third party suppliers in Europe. JCB will also expand its production operations in Rocester with an additional 126,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space to increase hydraulic cylinder production.
Also, JCB Earthmovers and JCB Compact Products operations will be expanded with a brand-new, purpose-built 220,000 sq. ft. factory on the Harewood Industrial Estate in Cheadle, Staffordshire, while existing JCB Finance and JCB Insurance offices in Rocester will be relocated nearby to new purpose-designed, high-quality office accommodation at Harper Meadow in Denstone. All the projects are subject to planning consent from the relevant local authorities in Staffordshire.
In addition, the company said it will provide a new in-house training facility for JCB staff, which will be run in conjunction with key universities to support apprenticeship and graduate training programmes.
JCB added that its projected growth in machine output from Staffordshire factories will be supported by an increase in production of components from other UK factories, including engines from JCB Power Systems in Foston, Derbyshire, along with axles and gearboxes from JCB Transmissions in Wrexham, North Wales.