Manufacturing firm creates new facility to help it compete in the post-Brexit world

A YORKSHIRE-based manufacturing firm has created a major new facility to help it win a bigger share of global markets after Brexit.

Univer Manufacturing, supported by the LEP, has overhauled a disused council building in Shipley and transformed it into a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.

The specialist industrial automation company, Univer Manufacturing Company Ltd, has completed a £2.45m transformation project to establish a new manufacturing site to support its growth plans. The investment has seen the business transform a disused former Bradford Council building in Shipley, West Yorkshire, into a manufacturing facility.

The 24,000 sq ft site houses the latest CNC machine technology and has increased the company’s manufacturing capabilities, enabling it to create 20 jobs, and win a string of new export contracts.

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Univer Manufacturing is a family-run company specialising in standard pneumatic branded products, specialist pneumatic products, gas module production, vehicle fleet safety products and systems for armoured vehicles.

The Univer Group was established in 1971 and has grown to become the largest independently owned specialist pneumatic manufacturing business in the UK, with production facilities in Europe and other parts of the world, including Australia and China. The investment included £440,000 from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s grant programme.

Managing director, Dominic Pix said: “It has been fantastic to work with the LEP Growth Service on this project. The grant meant that our latest facility has been completed to an exceptional standard. By choosing to give new life to a former Bradford Council building that had been empty for a long period, rather than purchase a new build, Univer Manufacturing has also invested additional funds into the purchasing of the latest CNC automated technology.

“We have a history of working with the newest technologies and conceiving innovative products, which has enabled us to remain at the forefront of new developments. Our latest investment is no different.

“The new technology CNC machines allow us to manufacture more complex parts, faster and more efficiently than with conventional machines. Our research and development team now works from the new site, which has also allowed our prototype times to be improved. We are becoming increasingly more competitive because of Brexit and, with this new facility at the centre of our growth plans, we hope to double sales over the next five years.”

The LEP, working in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, has received funding through Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1bn package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across the region.

Univer Manufacturing has now had a second grant approved for the purchase of another disused Bradford Council building, next to the Shipley site, which should be completed in 2019. A spokesman said: “This will enable the business to consolidate in one location and will lead to even greater efficiencies, and growth opportunities.”

Mr Pix continued: “We have worked hard to project a hi-tech image on this site and have been delighted with customer response, which has also resulted in being awarded a large contract on the back of our new facility.”

Andrew Wright, the chairman of the LEP Business, Innovation and Growth Panel, said: “Univer Manufacturing is a prime example of a successful British business, which is demonstrating commitment to its Yorkshire roots through investment. By increasing its domestic output abilities through state-of-the-art technology, it has already created more jobs and outlined further plans for long-term growth which will benefit the regional economy.”

Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, the leader of Bradford Council, added: “By supporting growing businesses, we are able to build on the region’s manufacturing excellence.”

Univer Manufacturing has also received a boost from apprenticeship funding provided by Bradford City Council, which has enabled it to employ apprentices.

The company’s managing director, Dominic Pix, added: “Satnam Khela, business advisor for Bradford Council, has made a huge impact, working very closely with us. ”

The Combined Authority works with the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to help businesses grow.

To find out more contact the LEP Business Growth Service on 0113 348 1818 or email [email protected]