Chinese investment in Birmingham underway

Richard Burden MP (centre), with L-R, Garry Pass and James Hunter

China’s biggest lighting manufacturer has started work on its new
£5million Birmingham factory, which will see the company double the
size of its existing base and create 170 new jobs.

Local MP Richard Burden (Lab, Northfield), visited NVC (Manufacturing) Ltd’s Rubery headquarters to see steelworks being erected at the firm’s new 49,000 sq ft research and design, manufacturing and warehousing facility.

NVC Lighting Technology Corporation, which has a capitalisation of £1billion following its flotation on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last year, and is headquartered at Huizhou, in China’s Guangdong province, established its first overseas manufacturing and storage operation in the UK in 2009.

The company’s UK arm, which supplies NVC and other branded commercial, industrial, amenity and exterior lighting products to wholesalers in the UK and Ireland, has been a runaway success, growing from seven to 80 staff, and with turnover set to hit £20m in less than three years.

NVC (Manufacturing) Ltd currently operates from a 42,000 sq ft premises at Hollymoor Point. This houses its offices, a showroom, small design facility and warehousing.

The new facility, which will more than double the size of the operation, is being built on land acquired by NVC next door to its existing site. It will allow the company to expand its design, R&D, technical and manufacturing capabilities.

The new premises is being built by Bowmer & Kirkland and will be finished mid December. NVC is planning to take on 70 additional staff by the end of this year, and anticipates the payroll will increase to 250 by 2015.

NVC’s investment was announced by Chinese premier Wen Jiabao when he visited the Chinese-owned MG Motor’s Longbridge plant last month. More than £1billion is being invested in the UK by the Asian super power.

Garry Pass, managing director at NVC (Manufacturing) Ltd UK, said the company’s market-leading energy efficient lighting products underpinned its rapid growth.

He said: “We have made massive inroads into the UK lighting market in a short space of time. Our intention is to increase business in Europe, using Birmingham and the UK as the gateway. The investment in our new facility, and in particular the ability to enhance our R&D capabilities, will enable us to do this.”

Richard Burden MP said: “I am delighted by NVC’s additional investment, which is a real vote of confidence in South West
Birmingham and the talents which local people have to offer forward-looking businesses. In creating 170 new jobs, I am
particularly pleased that NVC’s new facility will focus on design, R&D and manufacturing. Birmingham will be NVC’s European home and a great springboard from which to grow its business.”