The Minister for Economy, Science and Transport Edwina Hart is visiting Llantrisant today (Wednesday 18 February) to announce 200 new jobs at Universal Engineering.
The Minister has welcomed the news by the Bland Group that its subsidiary Universal Engineering Ltd (‘Universal’), the internationally renowned precision engineering innovator, is creating 200 new jobs at a new centre of excellence in Llantrisant, South Wales.
Universal Engineering, which has facilities in Weymouth, specialises in designing, developing and manufacturing close tolerance complex assemblies and equipment for the sub-sea, oil and gas sectors, defence and aerospace industries.
The multi-million pound investment is backed by £2m business finance from the Welsh Government to support the creation of 200 new jobs. The new 250,000 sq ft facility will increase the company’s capacity to meet growing global demand for its services and is now operational with 65 posts already filled since operations began 6 months ago.
The Minister, who will meet the Bland Group’s UK Chief Executive Henry Game and Universal’s Managing Director Mark Cooper, said: “I am delighted that Welsh Government support helped to secure this major project for Wales and that recruitment is already well underway.”
“It will provide a major boost to the local economy and is exactly the type of advanced manufacturing investment we want to attract. It will create a significant number of skilled jobs offering a range of employment and career opportunities. I am also pleased to note that the company has a track record of sourcing locally which will bring additional benefits to supply chain companies in Wales.”
The 16-acre site at Llantrisant was selected from a shortlist of potential sites across the UK and abroad because of its good transport links, which include the nearby deep-water ports at Newport and Cardiff, and highly skilled local workforce. The new recruits include a design engineer and a local Quality manager both with PhD’s. Universal is working closely with Coleg Gwent to support trade testing of skilled labour prior to employment at Universal to ensure international standards are achieved.
Henry Game commented: “With a 200 year track record of investing in innovative companies and people, we are pleased to be able to commit to this multimillion pound investment in South Wales, which has been driven by increasing customer demand for our products and services. “
“This investment represents our continued commitment to precision engineering and to fulfilling the high standards that have made Universal Engineering a pioneer in the cutting edge industries it serves.
“We are delighted and proud of this investment in UK engineering. It will bring tangible benefits for the UK economy in terms of increased industry and new jobs. It will also ensure Universal Engineering’s position as an international market leader in providing innovative quality-assured solutions for industries that rely on precision engineering.”
The factory provides a quarter of a million square feet of workspace dedicated to specialist engineering capabilities including Structural Steel fabrication for the sub sea oil & gas industry, vehicle chassis and materials handling equipment as well as machining capability in support of defence equipment customers. We have also invested in a HD plasma profiler for production of large plate steel parts and the ability to fully finish products with a dedicated paint facility.
Mark Cooper said, “We are also proud to be working with local colleges to address future skills’ needs. This innovative new arrangement supports local jobs and provides us with suitably qualified staff to maintain our international standards.
“In addition, the factory allows us to consolidate our work in oil, gas and subsea and diversify further into the defence and aerospace industries. We have a number of high profile blue chip clients, who will benefit from developments at the new site.”
Universal Engineering specialises in providing world class design and expert manufacturing services for the sub-sea, energy, defence and aerospace industries.