The Chancellor has today welcomed the announcement that JCB will invest £150 million over the next five years in new manufacturing facilities and to expand existing factories in Staffordshire, creating 2,500 new jobs at JCB and up to 7,500 more in the firm’s UK supply chain.
This follows the announcement on Wednesday this week that the government has given the green light on work to improve the A50 near Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, to reduce congestion on this vital transport link.
JCB is a global leader in construction and agricultural equipment, employing 6,000 people in the UK and according to recent analysis by Oxford Economics contributes £1.4 billion to the economy. The company is planning major investment in and around Staffordshire , including a new 350,000 sq ft site on the A50 in Uttoxeter to manufacture JCB cabs, so that it can return some of its outsourced operations to the UK. Another new 220, sq ft factory is planned for the nearby town of Cheadle in Staffordshire, where the company already has a large presence.
The improved A50 will be key to supporting the major increase in JCB’s activity, making it easier to transport inbound parts and materials to their sites and improving the outbound movement of finished products to the JCB global dealers network. The upgraded road network will relieve potential future congestion in the area, as the company plans to increase production in the UK.
At the launch of the National Infrastructure Plan this week the government announced that improvements to the A50 will be backed by funding from the government’s £28 billion roads package, set out at the Spending Round in June.
The work will bring the A50 trunk road up to the same high standard as the existing Derbyshire section of the road to unlock the ‘A50 Growth Corridor’.
Many major firms with a significant UK presence such as JCB, Rolls Royce, Toyota, Michelin and Bentley will benefit from better connections in the area, and the road will also support around 700 new houses as part of a significant new project by leading developer St Modwen.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said:
Today’s investment by JCB is a further sign that our long term economic plan is working.
It will not only create 2,500 jobs at JCB, but support thousands more through suppliers in Staffordshire and beyond. The government’s extra investment in improving the A50 in Staffordshire shows the link between improved infrastructure and a strong economy.
I want Britain to be a country where companies want to invest and create jobs, as JCB is doing today. We will only do that by working through our long term economic plan to secure a responsible recovery for all parts of the country.
JCB Chairman, Lord Bamford said:
The Chancellor’s announcement of the major A50 road improvement project is good news for businesses in this area. It allows companies like JCB to plan ahead with confidence, knowing that the road network will not constrain business growth and future investment.
Our plan to create 2,500 high-quality manufacturing jobs locally is clear evidence of the important link between infrastructure improvement and job creation. The Chancellor’s decision to invest in the regional infrastructure means JCB can continue to invest locally, which is good for Staffordshire and good for Britain, especially given the wider benefits to our UK supply chain.
The government’s decision to upgrade the A50 has been welcomed by other key UK companies in the area.
Rolls-Royce, Colin Smith, Director Engineering and Technology said:
Rolls-Royce is pleased to see this investment in the infrastructure of a region that is key to our UK operations and home to many of our suppliers. Every investment that improves the industrial efficiency of the Midlands is welcome.
Tony Walker, Deputy Managing Director of Toyota Manufacturing UK commented:
We welcome investment to improve traffic flow around Uttoxeter. This will assist the smooth delivery of engines from our manufacturing plant in Deeside and other inbound parts to our vehicle manufacturing plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire.
Paul Dyer, Managing Director, Automotive & Industrial - DHL Supply Chain said:
As the UK’s largest logistics provider we cover hundreds of thousands of miles every year supporting customers across the West Midlands, so we very much welcome today’s announcement. Not only will the improvements reduce traffic congestion in the region but they are certain to encourage further investment which can only be good news for the local economy.
Mark Kerrigan, Park Operations and Development Director at Alton Towers Resort said:
The A50 is a vital corridor for guests travelling to the Alton Towers Resort and, as we expand our full year offering, it is becoming even more so. We therefore welcome the Government’s decision to invest in upgrading this key infrastructure around Uttoxeter.
Cllr Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said:
This is tremendous news for businesses and communities right along the A50, promising to cut traffic jams and speed journey times along one of the key trunk routes between the East and West Midlands.
Major manufacturers line the A50 and it is heavily used by hundreds of thousands of visitors to Alton Towers, one of the UK’s top tourist attractions, but it has long been blighted by bottlenecks around Uttoxeter.
Improving roads and other infrastructure to keep goods and people on the move is vital as we strive to improve Staffordshire’s economy, creating a connected county where business are attracted to invest and grow. Ultimately that means more jobs and prosperity for local people.