Can you dig it?

JCB is to cre­ate 200 jobs at its new £50m fac­tory in Staffs

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Alan Tovey

JCB is in­vest­ing £50m in build­ing a new fac­tory at its Stafford­shire base that will cre­ate hun­dreds of skilled jobs.

The com­pany best known for its bright yel­low dig­gers aims to open the new plant next sum­mer. It will build cabs for JCB’s plant equip­ment.

Graeme Macdon­ald, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the pri­vately owned com­pany, de­scribed the in­vest­ment as one of the largest in JCB’s his­tory.

He added: “This un­der­lines our com­mit­ment to man­u­fac­tur­ing in Bri­tain and in our home county of Stafford­shire. Bri­tain is a great place to do busi­ness, and what­ever the out­come of the Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions, we are in good shape. I firmly be­lieve the out­come of the ne­go­ti­a­tions will have no im­pact on our busi­ness what­so­ever, which is why we are con­tin­u­ing to in­vest in our Bri­tish man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­ity.”

JCB is owned by the Bam­ford fam­ily and chaired by An­thony Bam­ford, a lead­ing mem­ber of the Leave cam­paign ahead of the Brexit ref­er­en­dum.

Ahead of the vote, Lord Bam­ford wrote to JCB’s 6,500 em­ploy­ees in Bri­tain set­ting out his po­si­tion.

“The UK is a trad­ing na­tion and the fifth largest econ­omy in the world,” he wrote. “I am very con­fi­dent we can stand on our own two feet. I be­lieve that JCB and the UK can pros­per just as much out­side the EU, so there is lit­tle to fear if we leave.”

Lord Bam­ford also pulled the com­pany out of busi­ness lobby group the CBI be­cause of its anti-Brexit stance.

Some man­u­fac­tur­ers op­er­at­ing in the UK have put new in­vest­ment on hold un­til they have clar­ity on Brexit – no­tably the car in­dus­try, which this week said in­vest­ment had halved in the past year be­cause of un­cer­tainty over the im­pact of Bri­tain leav­ing the EU.

How­ever, JCB has not slowed its ex­pan­sion ef­forts. In March it an- nounced it was cre­at­ing 600 new man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs in its UK bases to meet de­mand, and since the ref­er­en­dum has in­vested in de­vel­op­ing its first elec­tric dig­ger as well as mov­ing into other new prod­uct ar­eas.

The new 350,000 sq ft fac­tory near JCB’s Ut­tox­eter base will cre­ate 200 jobs and al­low pro­duc­tion of driv­ers’ cabs for its prod­ucts to be dou­bled to about 100,000 a year.

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