OE Electrics, a manufacturer and distributor of electrical equipment, has doubled the size of its operations in Wakefield, which will lead to the creation of 144 local jobs.
OE House is a 66,000 sq ft energy efficient facility that was custom built for the firm at Calder Park enabling it to double its capacity and diversify to new markets.
The project, which cost just over £9m to complete, received £500,000 of funding from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Business Growth Programme. It also received a LEP Loan of £1m from the Growing Places Fund which has enabled the company to build the facility to a high energy saving specification complete with LED lighting and solar panels.
David Masters, Group Managing Director, said: “This investment from the LEP and other sources has not only enabled us to double our operations, it also means we can supply to new sectors.
“We initially only supplied electrical equipment to offices but we are now able to look to the education, healthcare, leisure and passenger transport markets.”
“We manufacture in Australia too and export to the Middle East, America and currently a small part of Europe.
“We’re now developing a European Distribution Network to hopefully expand our operations in this region and expect this to be a large area of growth, despite Brexit.
“Innovation is something that is really important to us and we’re launching five new electrical products this year.”
The 144 new jobs that are being created as a result of the expansion will mostly be recruited from the West Yorkshire area.
An apprenticeship programme that will recruit at least 10 apprentices within the next eight years is also in the pipeline.
David continued: “As well as enabling us to improve our efficiency and accommodate growth, our new state-of-the-art facility has been built as a showroom for our customers and to provide the best possible working conditions for our employees.”
OE House contains the firm’s head office, warehouse, distributing and R&D operations.
Mr Masters said that OE Electrics was indebted to the LEP for its support.
“We have benefited hugely from the one-to-one support from Pat Coffey, the LEP SME Growth Manager, who we have been working with for over a year now,” he added.
“Pat really listened to our business needs and helped us to understand and access the finance and support available to us.”
Andrew Wright, Chair of the LEP Business, Innovation and Growth (BIG) Panel, said: “OE Electrics was voted Wakefield Business of the Year in June 2017 which is not surprising due to its rapid expansion over the last few months and the state-of-the-art facilities it has provided for its staff.
“Despite uncertain conditions in the wake of Brexit, this is an example of a British company that has continued to grow and diversify its operations whilst supporting the local economy through job creation.”
Councillor Peter Box, leader of Wakefield Council said: “It is great to see Wakefield-based OE Electrics going from strength to strength, creating local jobs and expanding its operations.
“The LEP has supported over 750 small and medium-sized businesses in Wakefield to date and I would encourage businesses to contact the LEP and find out about the support available to help their business grow.”
The Business Growth Programme provides grant funding to business based in the Leeds City Region or those planning to invest there.
Grants of between £10,000 and £500,000 are available to create new jobs and business growth.