Centre of Excellence adds 200 jobs in South Wales

Following investment by the Bland Group, Universal Engineering, is creating 200 jobs at its Centre of Excellence, in Llantrisant, South Wales.

The investment is backed by £2million business finance from the Welsh Government. Gower MP and Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart, is visiting the site today.

The company, headquartered in Weymouth, specialises in designing, developing and manufacturing close tolerance complex assemblies and equipment for the sub-sea, oil and gas sectors, defence and aerospace industries.

The new 250,000 sq ft facility in South Wales is operational now, with 65 posts already filled.

The Minister, who will meet the Bland Group's UK chief executive Henry Game, and Universal's managing director, Mark Cooper, said: "I am delighted that Welsh Government support helped to secure this major project for Wales and that recruitment is already well underway."

"It will provide a major boost to the local economy and is exactly the type of advanced manufacturing investment we want to attract. It will create a significant number of skilled jobs offering a range of employment and career opportunities."

The 16-acre site at Llantrisant was selected from a shortlist of potential sites across the UK and abroad because of its good transport links, which include the nearby deep-water ports at Newport and Cardiff, and highly skilled local workforce.

The factory provides a quarter of a million square feet of workspace dedicated to specialist engineering capabilities including structural steel fabrication for the sub sea oil and gas industry, vehicle chassis and materials handling equipment as well as machining capability in support of defence equipment customers. The company has invested in a HD plasma profiler for production of large plate steel parts and the ability to fully finish products with a dedicated paint facility.

Mark Cooper said, "We are also proud to be working with local colleges to address future skills' needs. This innovative new arrangement supports local jobs and provides us with suitably qualified staff to maintain our international standards.

"In addition, the factory allows us to consolidate our work in oil, gas and subsea and diversify further into the defence and aerospace industries. We have a number of high profile blue chip clients, who will benefit from developments at the new site."