Guhring, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of precision cutting tools, will become the second foreign investor to locate to the Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMH) in Aston, Birmingham.
The £12 million investment will enable the German-owned company – which supplies global brands including BMW, Ford, JLR, Nissan, Airbus and BAE Systems – to create 50 new jobs and safeguard a further 75. Guhring will be recruiting both skilled engineers and those who want to start a career in the UK’s vibrant manufacturing industry.
The AMH will provide space for the growing firm to expand its presence in the UK. After 17 years at Abingdon in Oxfordshire, Guhring moved to a central warehouse facility in Castle Bromwich, Birmingham, in 1990. Its operations focused on sales, marketing and distribution – with the company employing 20 people. Since then, it has expanded significantly by offering tool servicing and refurbishment, and now has 75 staff. The firm’s new facility will enable it to grow even further by accommodating R&D and a full manufacturing process.
Mike Dinsdale, Managing Director at Guhring Ltd, said:
“This move will be a huge step forward for our UK business, which initially focused on distributing standard products all made by our parent company in Germany. Now, we will be able to design, develop and manufacture cutting tools specific to our customers’ needs in Britain for the first time. We have ambitious plans to realise Guhring’s full potential – and are aiming to treble in size and double our workforce within five years of moving to the AMH.
“The tremendous support we have received from partners across the city has been instrumental in helping us to secure this deal, and demonstrates our commitment to the region’s flourishing manufacturing sector.”
Guhring has taken 3.5 acres to build a 60,000 sq ft facility, with further space for expansion available. The whole project is being managed by Bilfinger GVA from its Birmingham base, working to a timescale that sees Guhring move into its new facility by early 2017. The AMH is one of six economic zones in Birmingham – sites that offer tailored space and services for companies in target sectors such as advanced manufacturing.
The site was acquired from Birmingham City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). The deal was secured by Savills, which acted on behalf of the landowners.
Councillor Tahir Ali, Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for development, transportation and the economy, said:
“We are dedicated to supporting foreign investors as they locate or expand in Birmingham. The international firms increasing their presence here are helping to push our economy forward and create thousands of new jobs for the local workforce each year. Birmingham’s economic zones, such as the AMH, demonstrate how we are using key locations across the city to provide the facilities and infrastructure that companies need to thrive and contribute to the local economy.”
Anne-Marie Simpson, Head of Area for Midlands Central at the HCA, added:
“Guhring’s new site provides the company with the right space, connectivity, workforce and infrastructure to continue its successful track record of development and growth. It also enables the firm to further establish itself as a valuable local employer; creating dozens of entry-level and progression opportunities for those who want to develop a career in engineering.”
To complete the move, Guhring has received a £650,000 grant from the government’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative West Midlands and Liverpool City Region fund (AMSCI WMLCR). This was made available through Finance Birmingham. Its Chief Executive, Sue Summers, added:
“Guhring’s plans to establish an R&D centre highlight how manufacturers are using local talent to remain internationally competitive. As a respected supplier to major automotive and aerospace firms, its new capabilities will certainly have a positive impact on other manufacturing firms right across the region.”
A family-owned company based in Albstadt, Southern Germany, Guehring employs 6,500 people worldwide. It designs, develops and manufactures steel, carbide and diamond cutting tools for the manufacturing industry worldwide.
The firm follows HydraForce, a US hydraulics manufacturer, to the AMH. HydraForce is building a 120,000 sq ft facility at the AMH, which is expected to create more than 200 new jobs during the next five years.
The Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP area secured 73 foreign direct investment projects last year, creating some 4,800 new jobs – making it the most successful LEP in the UK for inward investment.