Company’s ‘Innovation Centre’ expansion

editorial image

Engineering specialist Fort Vale is planning to expand its UK operation with a new development at its Ribble Valley HQ.

The company, which specialises in the design and precision manufacture of valves and fittings for transportation in the road tanker and tank container industries, is planning a 15,000 sq. ft Innovation Centre at its base in Simonstone.

Research and development has been the cornerstone of Fort Vale’s success in the past and strengthening it’s resources in this area will help secure the company’s future.

Fort Vale has been boosted by growth in the Asia and Chinese markets in particular and has taken on more than 100 new employees in the past 12 months, with its latest development plans set to create a number of new jobs.

The business moved its manufacturing facility to the 100,000 sq. ft former LG Philips factory in Simonstone in 2008 and, having weathered the global recession, is now planning for future growth.

Managing Director Ian Wilson said: “We anticipate more growth in our exisiting markets and plan to move in to new product areas in the future.

“We aren’t at capacity yet, but we need to take steps today to plan for future growth and this new Innovation Centre will not only focus attention on product development but release valuable production space in the manufacturing plant.

“We are looking to the future and developing new markets — both in geographical terms and in product terms. We have a large part of the market sector, more than 80%, and have developed a manufacturing facility in China in the past couple of years to complement the work we are doing here in Lancashire.

“We have been delighted by our move to Simonstone — being close to the motorway network the facility is much better located for handling the increased volumes of goods that we are now exporting. It has allowed us to become more efficient and ensure we remain competitive.”

Fort Vale, which is based at Calder Vale Park, serves markets across the globe including China, South Africa, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany.