Duke of Kent tours £6m facilities for advanced engineering.
THE DUKE of Kent gave the royal seal of approval to the William Cook group after visiting the engineer’s new precision factory in Sheffield and meeting the latest intake of apprentices.
The Queen’s cousin toured the £6m factory with chairman Sir Andrew Cook and spoke with the new recruits about their training, development and future as the next generation of industry talent. The Duke told guests: “It is a great pleasure to come to a thriving Yorkshire company and see how well you are doing.”
The facility combines the latest 3D printing, investment casting and robotics technology to allow the rapid manufacture of complex components.
William Cook says the new factory is opening up valuable new markets for the group.
Earlier this year, William Cook welcomed the largest intake of apprentices in recent history.
They are gaining experience and mentoring under the guidance of skilled craftsmen and attend the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Training Centre one day a week.
The company is looking for new apprentices to join its Leeds rail plant, which has recently completed a £10m investment programme.
After the tour, the Duke unveiled a special plaque to commemorate the visit, which had been produced using the group’s 3D printing and casting process.
Sir Andrew said: “William Cook has been in this city since the late 19th century and our investment means we will have an important role to play in the city region’s future as a highvalue manufacturer of complex components for the energy, defence, rail and aerospace sectors.
“We were especially pleased to be able introduce the Duke to our apprentices, who have the potential to become the leading designers, engineers and technicians of the 21st century.”
ROYAL VISIT: The Duke of Kent, left, took a tour of the William Cook factory in Sheffield where he heard about the company’s training developments.