David Cameron has praised UK based manufacturing at the opening of a new high-tech industrial safety helmet manufacturing facility.
David Cameron opened personal protection equipment specialist JSP’s new £3 million facility on Tuesday. The new development has a production capacity of more than 4 million helmets a year and is based in Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire.
JSP, which currently has a staff of 191 employees, is hoping the new plant will add 20 further positions and is introducing a new apprenticeship and graduate trainee scheme in 2012.
The Prime Minister, speaking at the opening, said: “With our economy today, we desperately need to rebalance it in favour of high-tech manufacturing and exports like this. It is heartening to see that the expansion has been made here in Oxfordshire and not somewhere else in the world.”
The new facility, which is claimed to be the world’s most advanced industrial safety helmet manufacturing line, will produce JSP’s new Evolution range of industrial safety helmets. They will be sold in over 90 countries across the globe and provide a platform for growth over the next five to 10 years.
Mark Johnstone, chief executive at JSP, commented: “We will be able to reduce lead times, and be more flexible during periods of both high and low demand. We are in the process of patenting our new technology, and we can now manufacture helmets cheaper here in Oxfordshire than anywhere else in the world.”
The new line also sees the reintroduction of the BSI Kitemark scheme, and in conjunction with the British Standards Institution, the launch of a new risk-based approach to PPE selection across the relevant European (EN) standards.
The 47 year-old family owned company has developed a high-performing range of industrial head protection, widely respected in the market. A few of the companies most successful products are the EvoLite, which, weighing only 285g, is the lightest on the market, and the Mk8 Evolution, which is the strongest industrial helmet in the world.