Can you dig it?
JCB is to create 200 jobs at its new £50m factory in Staffs
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.