250 new jobs hope as Burnley engineering firm plans expansion

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UP to 250 new jobs could be created at engineering specialist Fort Vale – thanks to a growth in the Asian and Chinese market.

The company, which designs and makes parts for transportation in the road tanker and tank container industries, is planning a new 15,000sqft innovation centre on the site of the former Mullards factory.

Fort Vale has been boosted by the growth in the Asian and Chinese markets in particular and has taken on more than 100 new employees in the last 12 months and the development plans will create a number of new jobs. The business moved its manufacturing to the 100,000sqft former LG Philips factory, Simonstone, in 2008 and, having weathered the global recession, is now planning for future growth.

Managing director Ian Wilson said: “We anticipate more growth in our exisiting markets and plan to move in to new product areas in the future.

“We aren’t at capacity yet but we need to take steps today to plan for future growth and this new Innovation Centre will not only focus attention on product development but release valuable production space in the manufacturing plant.

“We are looking to the future and developing new markets – both in geographical terms and in product terms. We have a large part of the market sector, more than 80%, and have developed a manufacturing facility in China in the last couple of years to complement the work we are doing here in Lancashire.

“We have been delighted by our move to Simonstone – being close to the motorway network the facility is much better located for handling the increased volumes of goods that we are now exporting. It has allowed us to become more efficient and ensure we remain competitive.”

Fort Vale, which is based at Calder Vale Park, serves markets across the globe including China, South Africa, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.