Tuesday, November 18, 2014

News: Deputy PM opens EEF HQ

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Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg has officially opened manufacturers' organisation EEF's new offices in Rotherham.

The Engineering Employers' Federation (EEF), the UK trade organisation dedicated to the future of manufacturing, signed up to take nearly 7,000 sq ft of office space at Advantage House, Poplar Way, Catcliffe in a deal secured by BNP Paribas Real Estate.

The EEF offers business services, government representation and industry intelligence and around a quarter of the UK's manufacturing businesses are members and many more use its services to help them work. The modern new offices will now be EEF's new regional headquarters, putting it in a prime position on the doorstep of the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP).

The move further underlines EEF's strong commitment to manufacturing in the region. Recently it boosted its support for local manufacturers by creating and investing in a second, dedicated regional director role. Earlier this week, EEF also announced that it was taking over the ownership and day to day running of NDI (Northern Defence Industries) – the trade body representing companies involved in the defence sector.

Nick Clegg MP, said: "I'm delighted to be able to open EEF's new offices, right on the doorstep of our world class advanced manufacturing hub here in South Yorkshire. We are fast becoming the envy of the world when it comes to high value manufacturing. Extra support for local manufacturers has to be a good thing and can only enhance this reputation even further.  

"British manufacturing is a great news story not just in South Yorkshire, but across the wider UK economy. There is a real sense of optimism emerging, albeit cautiously, about the future.

"Our economy is growing again and we have more people in work than ever before - with manufacturing businesses adding around 10,000 new jobs to our economy every month. That's no accident. It's down to the hard work of businesses and workers to help Britain get back on its feet. Together, we’ve got to ensure that the hard work of the last four years continues to pay off."

Terry Scuoler, CEO of EEF, added: "We're delighted to be boosting our support to manufacturing in this region. Sheffield and the Yorkshire and Humber region have a rich history and reputation for producing goods that are recognised and valued around the world. Our new offices provide a physical link between that strong legacy and the dynamism and creativity of modern manufacturing.

"More importantly, however, this move signifies our belief in the important contribution manufacturing still has to make in the region and our determination to ensure that it continues to grasp opportunities to adapt, innovate and grow."

After opening the new offices, Mr Clegg visited MTL Group, an EEF member company based in a 300,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Brinsworth, Rotherham. MTL Group is one of Europe's fastest growing project manufacturing specialists in the metal sector and is a global exporter of secondary steelwork. It works with a global blue-chip customer base in the defence, construction equipment, rail and off-shore wind energy sectors.

Managing director Dr Henry Shirman gave Mr Clegg a guided tour of the premises, demonstrating the company's investment in high technology equipment, most recently in new robotic welding equipment following the success of a large export order for armoured hulls. This £750,000 investment allows MTL to compete on a global basis, with exports now accounting for 40% of total sales for the present financial year.

Dr Shirman explained how MTL works closely with its customers in the defence, recycling and off-highway sectors to improve their products through its "Design for Manufacture" service. This service is now a core feature of its business and has resulted in customer products being made with lighter, stronger materials at a lower cost.

EEF website
MTL Group website

Images: BNP Paribas Real Estate

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