The automation business, based in Leeds City Region, is to expand following the investment, creating new jobs and export opportunities.
Univer Manufacturing Company Ltd, part of the British-owned, TecnAir Group, has completed a successful £2.45m transformation project to create a new manufacturing site marking a major milestone in its five-year growth plan.
The investment, which included £440,000 from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s grant programme, has seen the business completely overhaul a disused former Bradford Council building in Shipley, West Yorkshire, into a state-of-art 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 new jobs, and win a string of new export contracts.
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.
Established in 1988, it 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.
This latest investment marks the next stage in the company’s ambition for further growth. Managing director, Dominic Pix expects export sales to grow by 30% and current UK sales are already up 40%. The company currently exports around the globe.
Dominic 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 Leeds City Region.
Univer Manufacturing has now had a second grant approved for the purchase of another disused Bradford Council building, adjacent to the Shipley site, which should complete in 2019. This will enable the business to consolidate in one location and will lead even greater efficiencies, and growth opportunities.
Dominic 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, chair of the LEP Business, Innovation and Growth (BIG) Panel, said: “Univer Manufacturing is a prime example of a successful British business, which is demonstrating a 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.”
Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford City Council, added: “I am delighted to hear that Univer Manufacturing has both expanded and at the same time given a new lease of life to previously unused properties in Bradford.
“By supporting growing businesses we are able to build on the region’s manufacturing excellence and create a strong and successful economy that benefits everyone.
“Univer manufacturing has also benefitted from apprenticeship funding from Bradford City Council, which has enabled it to employ apprentices.
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