Project will create engineering jobs

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ENGINEERING jobs are being created as part of a project to strengthen Yorkshire’s ties with the automotive sector.

Newburgh Precision has been selected as a strategic supplier to The Proving Factory. which aims to bridge the gap between developers making low-carbon prototypes and vehicle manufacturers.

The Proving Factory is a collaborative project to industrialise innovation and supply advanced components into the automotive supply chain. It is led by Productiv and Tata Steel and its partners include MIRA, the HVM Catapult, Jaguar Land Rover, Schaeffler and the Midlands Assembly Network. The Proving Factory will use 1,000 square metres of leased space at Newburgh Precision’s base in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, on an interim basis, for its component manufacturing operation, while dedicated facilities are completed nearby. Newburgh Precision, which has a turnover of around £10m and 105 staff, was chosen because of its expertise in machining precision components. A number of machines will be delivered to The Proving Factory’s interim component manufacturing facility over the next few months. This technology will help The Proving Factory to develop low-carbon vehicle technologies.

David Greenan, Newburgh Precision’s managing director, said: “Newburgh Precision has a healthy order book in its own right, and we have been recruiting and investing in new equipment at our Rotherham facility to support this growth. This relationship with The Proving Factory will continue this development, and add new technology and processes into our working practices. Our works manager Nick Andrew has been selected by The Proving Factory to take the role of operations lead in this relationship, a fantastic opportunity for him and the business to work closely with this innovative initiative.”

Mark Broxholme, the managing director of Tata Steel’s speciality steels business, said: “We have worked hard to plan our development and growth as The Proving Factory’s component manufacturing volumes increase towards our target of four million components over the next decade.

“This new interim site allows us to get started with component development and manufacturing as quickly as possible. We are looking forward to moving into our new home this month, and we are positive that our new site and the support of Newburgh Precision will give us the capability we need to support the delivery of the initial pre-production components and assemblies by the end of this year.”

As well as supporting The Proving Factory component manufacturing operation, Newburgh Precision will put 10 Proving Factory apprentices through its own apprentice training programme. The apprentices are undergoing initial training at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre’s (AMRC) Training Centre and will then join the business to continue their training to NVQ level 3 and beyond.

Business Secretary Vince Cable launched the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) in 2011. It provides funding to support research and development, skills training and capital investment to improve advanced manufacturing supply chains. A Newburgh spokesman said that the Proving Factory initiative would lead to more jobs.

The spokesman said: “The 10 apprentices that are at the AMRC-TC will be joined by a further eight apprentices later this year. Initial recruitment will be looking at around eight jobs with, if it all goes according to plan, around 40 to follow.”