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CBI director-general visits Forgemasters

14 June 2010

Richard Lambert, the director-general of the CBI, visited Sheffield Forgemasters to see progress on a £23m manufacturing expansion programme which will enable the company to capitalise on growing global order books.

Mr Lambert was visiting the 200-year-old Sheffield engineering giant to view the development of a multi-million pound machine shop and a new 4,000 tonne press facility.

He was accompanied by Andrew Palmer, Yorkshire and Humber regional director of the CBI, to see how the 800-strong company, is moving forward with its ambitious growth plans.

These developments have included the building of a brand new 15,700 sq ft heavy machine shop initially incorporating five new large scale machine tools essential to increasing manufacture of the largest of Forgemasters' cast and forged steel products.

Mr Lambert also toured the Brightside Lane HQ with Forgemasters' directors and saw the 4,000 tonne press in operation.

Neil Maskrey, chief financial officer at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: “Both these projects represent major capital investments for Forgemasters to enhance both productivity and efficiency which is critically essential for the next stage of the growth of the company.”

“The new machine shop will enable us to fully realise the capacity of the foundry, reduce timescales for completing jobs and increase the company's flexibility to handle more contracts.”

The CBI is the UK's premier independent business organisation. It exists to ensure that the Government, the European Commission and the wider community understand both the needs of British business and the contribution it makes to the well being of UK society.

Richard Lambert said: “It is hugely exciting to see such impressive technology and innovation being developed on this scale, here in the UK. The size and quality of the products being developed at Forgemasters is outstanding and this expansion programme builds on that by making a real investment for the future.”

Additional to the purchase of key equipment for the machine shop, valued at around £13m, Forgemasters has invested £1m in two 250 tonne cranes to feed the new machines.

Forgemasters' expansion plans have also included a now operational £9m 4,000 tonne hydraulic forging press which complements the company’s 10,000 tonne press currently working at full capacity to fulfill orders.