Press release

£5 million laser technology project in Hull beamed into action

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Vince Cable announces more than £1 million funding for the laser technology company Rofin-Sinar, creating nearly 60 new highly skilled jobs

Business Secretary Vince Cable is visiting Hull today (Monday 8 July) to announce more than £1 million funding for the laser technology company Rofin-Sinar, creating nearly 60 new highly skilled jobs.

The government money is being provided through the Regional Growth Fund (RGF). Funding through the RGF supports private investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment outside of London. Rofin-Sinar’s £5 million project will develop lasers that can cut through touchscreen glass on smartphones much faster, reducing manufacturing times. The funding will also allow the company to relocate to a new factory.

A total of 14 companies in the Humber have been awarded £2.4 million in RGF funding as part of the Humber LEP programme in the last five months, creating nearly 200 jobs and helping to secure a further £10 million of private sector investment.

Vince Cable will also visit Hull College’s School of Construction where he will be accompanied by the CBI Director General John Cridland. The visit comes a week after the publication of the industrial strategy for construction which sets out how government will work with the sector to help it grow by 70% by 2025.

The School of Construction is one of the UK’s largest providers of construction skills training. Vince Cable and John Cridland will then meet apprentices from the college who are refurbishing derelict properties for low income families on the city’s Preston Road estate.

Vince Cable said:

This region faces many economic challenges, but can also take advantage of many new opportunities and there is no reason why, like the local football team, Hull and the Humber area as a whole should not be on the up.

We are committed to supporting businesses and creating highly skilled jobs in this area. The new money announced today for Rofin-Sinar is in addition to £77 million already allocated through the Regional Growth Fund since its creation.

More people are being trained in the skills that Hull and Humber businesses need. In the last year there has been around a 10% increase in the number of apprenticeships here. This is as a result of our decision to prioritise skills funding, so employers have access to the talent they need and young people from all social backgrounds have the chance to find fulfilling jobs.

John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said:

This is a great example of business and the government working together for growth.

Rofin-Sinar is an exciting and ambitious medium-sized manufacturer of industrial lasers looking to build on its success to design the next generation of products – the Regional Growth Funding will help it to invest in R&D and take on new highly skilled staff to achieve their ambitions.

Today the Business Secretary will also open a £350 million bioethanol plant at Vivergo in Hull. The new plant is the UK’s biggest bioethanol producer and the largest single-source supplier of animal feed. It will produce 420 million litres of bioethanol a year at full capacity, equivalent to a third of the UK’s current demand.

Notes for Editors

1 Rofin-Sinar UK Ltd designs, develops and manufactures sealed carbon dioxide lasers for marking applications and industrial processing. They have been awarded £1,131,300 from the Regional Growth Fund for their project which will create 57 highly skilled new jobs and lever in around £4m of private sector investment. For more information, please contact Dr Ken Lipton at Rofin-Sinar on 01482 650088 or Kenl@rofin-uk.com.

2.The government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is a £3.2 billion fund operating across England from 2011 to 2017. It supports projects and programmes that lever private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment. www.gov.uk/understanding-the-regional-growth-fund

3.Developed with guidance and support from the Construction Industrial Strategy Advisory Council (CISAC), ‘Construction 2025’ represents a joint partnership by the government and industry to put Britain at the forefront of the global construction market, and to ensure the industry is well placed to respond to domestic challenges by the year 2025. By working in partnership, the construction industry and government jointly aspire to achieve by 2025:

  • A 33% reduction in both the initial cost of construction and the whole lifecost of assets
  • A 50% reduction in the overall time from inception to completion for newbuild and refurbished assets
  • A 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment3
  • A 50% reduction in the trade gap between total exports and total imports forconstruction products and materials.

For further details and to view the strategy document visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-innovation-skills/series/construction-industrial-strategy.

4.Hull College Group (HCUK) is the UK’s fourth largest further education institution by income, with an annual turnover of £70m. The Voids Project, at Preston Road in Hull, is designed to offer work experience within real life work environments to a range of students, while ensuring that void housing stock is improved to recognised ‘Decent Homes’ standards thus improving the quality of resident’s life. For more information, please contact Rachael Bridge at Hull College on 01482 313412 or RBridge@hull-college.ac.uk.

5.The Vivergo plant, a joint venture between BP, AB Sugar and DuPont, will produce 420 million litres of bioethanol a year at full capacity, equivalent to a third of the UK’s current demand. Bioethanol is a renewable transport fuel which is added to petrol. Vivergo will also produce 500,000 tonnes a year of protein rich animal feed for the UK market, which is sufficient to feed around a fifth of the UK’s dairy herd. For more information, please contact Rebecca Williams or Joseph Potts at Launch PR (Rebeccaw or Josephp@launchgroup.co.uk, 020 7758 3900).

6.The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.