West Midlands Mayor Andy Street was among the keynote speakers at the opening in Birmingham today (June 9) of a new £12 million UK headquarters for global manufacturer Guhring.
He was joined by Cllr John Clancy, leader of Birmingham City Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority’s lead for economic growth, at the new facility in the city’s Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMH).
The new HQ for Guhring, a world-leading manufacturer of precision cutting tools, will create 50 new jobs and safeguard a further 75.
This expands its offering to global clients including BMW, JLR, Ford, Nissan, Airbus & BAE Systems.
With ambitious plans to double in size within the firm’s first five years at the Aston-based site, both skilled and entry-level positions will be created.
The opening event featured walking tours of the new site and a number of high-profile keynote speakers.
More than 250 attendees also heard from the UK Head of Manufacturing at Lloyds Banking Group, David Atkinson; Professor Carl Chinn from the University of Birmingham and Birmingham-born actor, David Harewood.
The building was officially opened by Dr Joerg Guehring, chairman and CEO of the Guehring Group; the manufacturer’s parent company based in Albstadt, Southern Germany.
Mike Dinsdale the Managing Director of Guhring Ltd commented: “The UK was Guhring’s first location to create a subsidiary outside of Germany.
“Creating a new facility in Birmingham is a major step towards meeting the company’s strategic focus to strengthen our global presence.
“Birmingham’s engineering and manufacturing capabilities are world-class, and locating in the Advanced Manufacturing Hub will ensure we can easily access local supply chain networks, a wide pool of skilled engineers, and easily connect with target markets in the UK and internationally”.
The Mayor added: “The West Midlands has an impressive legacy when it comes to advanced manufacturing.
“From Jaguar Land Rover and MG, to Rover and Rolls Royce – the region has been and still is home to many globally-renowned brands.
“Guhring is the latest manufacturing heavyweight to pick the West Midlands as the UK destination to grow its business and realise its full potential.
“The West Midlands has unique advantages in its location, its infrastructure and in its talent pool, making it a firm driver of the UK economy and a globally competitive investment destination of choice”.
The AMH is one of six Economic Zones in Birmingham established by Birmingham City Council. The site is designed to accelerate growth specifically within the advanced manufacturing sector, by offering incentives such as simplified planning, gap funding and recruitment support.
Cllr Clancy said: “Birmingham’s Advanced Manufacturing Hub is designed to capitalise on the region’s high value-adding sectors and drive inward investment that creates inclusive economic growth and jobs for all. With Greater Birmingham outperforming every UK region in attracting foreign investors, it is clear our strategy is working.
“Not only is Guhring’s investment testament to this – it highlights the strength of the region’s industrial legacy, the strength of the region’s talented workforce and the potential that exists in the region for growing companies with a bold, global vision”.
Guhring represent the second foreign direct investment (FDI) project into the AMH, which has already attracted Hydraforce – a US hydraulics manufacturer, which opened a new 120,000sq ft factory there last year.
Foreign investment into the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership area is predominantly driven by the strength of the region’s advanced manufacturing sector, which represented 31 per cent of all of the areas 81 FDI projects in 2015/2016. In the wider West Midlands region 11,119 new jobs were created, more than any other region outside London.
Finance Birmingham provided £650,000 of grant funding to assist the £11.45m Guhring project from its West Midlands and Liverpool City Region Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI).