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Manufacturer's £4m boost gives local economy a lift
5:11pm Friday 31st August 2012 in News
A GLASS CORD manufacturer has announced plans to create 24 new jobs and invest £4million in creating a highly specialised factory.
In what represents a significant tonic to the local economy, NGF Europe says it will become the first fully-integrated high tensile strength glass cord manufacturing factory in Europe.
The Lea Green-based firm adds it will also become the only facility of its kind outside Japan.
The investment has been made possible by a £500,000 advanced manufacturing grant from the UK Government’s Regional Growth Fund.
NGF, owned by Nippon Sheet Glass the Japanese parent company of Pilkington, will create a fibre-forming facility on site, a key process in glass cord manufacture.
It is a development that offers a ray of optimism for the glass industry in St Helens after the Star reported further cutbacks at Pilks a fortnight ago.
Glass cord is used by manufacturers producing timing belts for car engines and it is the fast moving technological advances in the automotive industry that led to the decision to invest in the facility.
It will shorten production times and reduce the dependency on delivery from NSG in Japan, reducing transport costs NGF Europe Ltd managing director, Alistair Poole, said: “The investment confirms our commitment to our customers in Europe and will ensure that our business remains at the forefront of technological development and is able to respond to customer demands and expectations.
“Furthermore, we are pleased that we are able to expand our advanced manufacturing capabilities in the Liverpool city region and continue to invest in our successful apprenticeship scheme.”
Work will begin this month and the new fibre forming line is expected to be commissioned in June 2013.
Recruitment for the 24 new posts, expected to include engineering, operations and technical support, will begin in January.
The firm, formerly Pilkington Reinforcements before becoming NGF in 1991, employs a workforce of 220.