300 jobs created as new castings factory opens in Telford
The opening of a new aluminium casting facility in Telford has been hailed as a major coup by its council leader.
Councillor Shaun Davies, leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, said the region fought off strong competition, including from abroad, to secure the deal for the plant.
An official opening ceremony took place yesterday to unveil the 225,000 square foot facility on Telford 54 Business Park at Nedge Hill.
Built in the name of Magna International's subsidiary Cosma, it will eventually create about 300 jobs and will make parts for Jaguar Land Rover.
Councillor Davies, who was one of the guest speakers at the official opening, said: "This is a huge deal for Telford and Wrekin.
"It is the single biggest foreign investment deal in the region in the last 10 years.
"Anybody who goes into Telford town centre can see this huge factory on the horizon.
"The company will be making component parts for Jaguar Land Rover. This factory represents one contract Magna has got and one of the things we did as a council is future proof the site, so if they win other contracts they can actually expand this site.
"It has created 300 direct jobs for Magna and hundreds more in the supply chain.
"There is already a huge willingness on behalf of the company to engage with local supply chain companies.
"We held an employment fair a few months ago – 1,200 people came to it to compete for those jobs so it is really good news.
"As a council we are business winning and business supporting. From Magna's point of view this was a prime site. We were competing with may other sites right across the country and Europe to get this deal.
"It is important for Telford to have thriving and successful businesses."
It is the largest automotive development in the West Midlands after the Jaguar Land Rover complex at the i54 site.
Magna's subsidiary Cosma International took over metals pressings specialist Stadco in 2015, promising investment in the business, and the new development shows that promise coming to fruition.
Work on the new castings facility development began in the autumn of 2016 and production has already begun, with the first shipment taking place last Friday.
The facility will use Magna's high-pressure vacuum die casting process to produce a number of advanced lightweight aluminium castings – which are seen as a key building block in the next generation all-aluminium and multi-material vehicle architectures.
The parts made at the site are to be for body structures of JLR's cars.
Ben Goater, general manager of CCUK, said: "This is a very proud moment. A lot of hardwork has gone into building this team. These are very highly skilled jobs, including fixing complicated machinery.
"We had a shortlist of five sites. We looked at a number of factors including local support, road network and skills in the area. We thought Telford fitted us really well."
Once fully operational, the site is set to have eight die cast machines and dozens of robots.
"There is land around here for us to grow further but our main focus at the moment is getting this site full," Mr Goater added.
The official opening ceremony featured staff, local councillors and representatives from the business community, including Telford MP Lucy Allan, who said she was very impressed by the facilities in the plant.
Guests were given a tour of the plant following the ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the facility.