Manufacturer to create more than 100 new jobs in Leeds following tax break

More than 100 new jobs will be created at an electrical manufacturing plant in Leeds, it’s been revealed.

Schneider Electric (SE), who employ more than 550 local people, will expand their base in Hunslet over the next decade, according to a Leeds City Council document.

The move will be partially funded through a one-off tax break on the company’s annual business rates, which are split between the council and the government.

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The French manufacturer produces charging points for electrical vehicles, alongside dozens of other appliances.

Schneider Electric, on Jack Lane in Hunslet. Picture from Google Maps (2021).Schneider Electric, on Jack Lane in Hunslet. Picture from Google Maps (2021).
Schneider Electric, on Jack Lane in Hunslet. Picture from Google Maps (2021).

The council paper, which was published online at the end of last week, said “SE are looking to expand their existing facility in Leeds which will allow the business to grow its portfolio” of products.

It added: “In order to meet growth and demands of organisations, SE will create and present to the local community 110 new jobs and sustain the long-term future for the Leeds SE site which today employs 555 jobs.”

The council said it had offered SE, who are based on Jack Lane in Hunslet, £315,000 in rates relief, “to secure this investment in Leeds”.

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Although this makes up 94 per cent of the company’s annual rates payment, the council said this would offer “excellent value for money”, as it would “safeguard” the firm’s future in Leeds and long-term income for the public purse as a result.

It added: “The company are a global manufacturer of EV infrastructure products aimed to encourage greater uptake of EV use.

“Consequently, it is likely that this will help Leeds and the UK to reduce its overall carbon emissions.”

The majority of the 110 new posts, which will be created over the next nine years, are likely to be filled by apprentices, the paper said.

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Kelly Becker, Schneider Electric’s zone president for the UK and Ireland, said: “Leeds is already one of our key strategic sites and part of the UK’s growing net zero economy, which we are committed to supporting. We are determined to do all we can working in partnership to help industry, businesses and consumers to decarbonise, and delighted to have the opportunity to increase our team in this region.

“Each and every one of the additional 110 new roles we are creating is important to help our customers reduce their energy consumption and waste, drive corporate sustainability and contribute to meeting net zero targets.

“Having committed a total of £6-7m to this expansion thus far, we’re pleased to have also secured the support of Leeds City Council on this journey in the form of a one-off discount on the business rates which supports costs for our physical expansion.”

Under a policy adopted by the city council last year, business and charities can be offered rates relief at the discretion of the local authority.

Although generally aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, the council said it can be offered to larger firms “where there is a significant opportunity to expand” and create new jobs.