Industrial automation specialist Sewtec has welcomed a VIP delegation to its new £2m state-of-the-art design and manufacturing facility at Silkwood Park in Wakefield.
Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and NP11 group of Northern local enterprise partnerships, Roger Marsh OBE DL, attended along with Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for economic growth and regeneration, Cllr Darren Byford.
Completing the delegation were Wakefield Council’s skills and business service manager, Mike Denby, and LEP Growth Manager, Jenny Hill. All four were given a guided tour of the facility together by Sewtec Automation’s project director, Ian Walch, and business support director Mark Atkins.
The visit was arranged following Sewtec Automation’s investment in the new facility, supported with a £250,000 grant from the LEP.
The grant contributed towards the development of the company’s new headquarters and is also being used to implement Sewtec Automation’s recruitment strategy which will see up to 70 new high-skilled jobs created at the facility.
Sewtec Automation invents, designs, manufactures, installs, and supports complex industrial automation systems for global blue-chip clients in the pharmaceutical and medical devices, cosmetics and personal care, pet care, food and beverage and tobacco industries.
The company exports 80 per cent of its systems to a mix of long-standing and new international customers including Tata, Huhtamaki, Nestle, Greencore and Imperial Brands.
Commenting on the visit, LEP Chair Roger Marsh OBE DL, said: “These new premises are a great example of the difference support from the LEP can make. As we look beyond the impact of the pandemic, businesses like Sewtec with their high-skilled workforce and scope for further international growth, will have a role to play in building the recovery, not just in our region, but for the UK as a whole.”
Called Automation House, Sewtec’s new 75,000 sq ft facility is located near junction 40 of the M1. The building is more than double the total size of its seven previous sites in Dewsbury and Wakefield combined, and has allowed the business to bring its 120 employees under one roof for the first time.
Coun Darren Byford said: “It was fantastic to visit Sewtec’s new manufacturing facility in Wakefield and to see how their new premises have enabled them to develop and expand their business and to take on new employees.
“It is great to see how well this national and international company is doing and we are proud to have provided expert advice and support on the grant application process, which was essential to their expansion plans.
“As we continue to drive forward our district’s economic recovery from coronavirus, Sewtec is a shining example of a successful business operating here in Wakefield and serving markets in this country and abroad. I would like to remind other companies that we have the skills and knowledge to also help them to achieve their ambitions to develop and grow.”
The new facility also features modern R&D and office spaces, new production, and quality control offices, as well as a much larger assembly area, machine shop, series of fabrication bays and stores.
Sewtec Automation project director, Ian Walch, said: “The backing we have been given by the LEP and Wakefield Council has been remarkable. It has been a huge boost, not only for the vision we have for our new facility, but also for our ambitious national and international expansion plans.
“It has been great to work closely with the two organisations, both of which have demonstrated a continued commitment to supporting high growth potential businesses like ours within the region.”