Engineering firm to build £65m UK manufacturing facility

Posted on 22 Jan 2018 by Jonny Williamson

High-tech engineering company, Lontra, has committed to build a cutting-edge manufacturing facility in Warwickshire for its range of industrial compressors.

Steve Lindsey, CEO and founder at engineering firm Lontra – image courtesy of Lontra.

The establishment of the world-class manufacturing line has been praised by local MP, Jeremy Wright and the Government’s Innovate UK body.

The multi-million-pound project will create 75 jobs in the local area by 2020, producing the engineering firm’s award-winning Blade Compressor which is used globally across industry.

The first part of the factory will open later this year, with a single flexible production line complementing the firm’s R&D Technology Centre in Napton.

Workforce expected to double 

According to the company, Lontra’s workforce is expected to double to 50 this year, with 25 new engineering and production line jobs.

By 2021, £65m will be invested in the development of this and a further site, with funding currently being sought for a second phase of expansion.

The project is backed by Shield Group Engineering, one of the largest manufacturers in the UK with contracts to supply components to Caterpillar, Cummins, Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover and JCB.

Steve Lindsey, CEO and founder at Lontra said: “This is a vote of confidence in Britain’s ability to manufacture at volume and high specification at globally competitive prices.

“We’ve long led the world in innovative ideas, the spread of technology across prototyping and manufacturing means than Britain is perfectly placed to lead the fourth industrial revolution.

“This is a new chapter for our business and we are delighted to be spearheading a new wave of precision manufacturing in the UK, and are committed to the Midlands where we believe that some of the world’s very best engineering minds can be found.”

A sneak peak at some of the ground-breaking technology being used to innovate new compressor designs at Lontra's new state of the art Technology Centre
The facility represents the first time that Lontra will manufacture directly in the UK – image courtesy of Lontra.

This is the first time that Lontra will manufacture directly in the UK, a statement of confidence in the country’s high-tech manufacturing capabilities; Lontra currently licenses its Blade Compressor design to global pump manufacturer Sulzer.

The manufacture of compressors in Southern Ireland will continue under Sulzer’s license, with Lontra’s new facility tackling fresh markets and applications.

Simon Edmonds, Manufacturing and Materials Director at Innovate UK, commented: “This excellent news from Lontra is testament to the strengths of UK high value manufacturing, and in particular the West Midlands region.

“It illustrates how investing in innovation leads to jobs and growth for the UK economy.”

Lontra’s expertise as an IP firm and its high tech approach to prototyping is recognised internationally with Japanese machinery tool firm, Yamazaki Mazak heavily involved in the joint project between Lontra and Shield, advising on manufacturing techniques and even manufacturing some Lontra parts in the Mazak Technology Centre to gain further experience of the machining of Lontra’s technology.