A MANUFACTURING firm has started work on a £5 million expansion of its foundry on Halifax road, Todmorden.
Weir Minerals, which manufactures pumps and equipment used by industrial businesses around the world, has begun work on the major project - scheduled for completion in 2013 - which will create more than 30 new jobs over the next three years.
A new building will be constructed adjoining the existing foundry to house a state-of-the-art production system for heavier metal castings used to build larger pumps.
This will increase output capacity at the site from 13,000 tonnes to around 15,500 tonnes annually, responding to growing global demand and taking sales to approximately £120 million per year.
The added capacity will also create an estimated 35 jobs at the site by 2015.
The company currently employs 411 people in Todmorden - an increase of 138 since 2005.
Tony Locke, managing director of Weir Minerals Europe, said: “The foundry in Todmorden is an example of British manufacturing excellence at its best and it is a huge source of pride that the products we make are chosen by companies right around the globe.
“The fact that some of the pumps are even exported to China – the biggest manufacturing nation on earth – is testament to the world-beating quality of what we are producing here.
“This investment and the increased capacity it will deliver will allow us to keep pace with the steady growth in demand we have seen in recent years without relying on additional production from overseas.”
Weir Minerals employs nearly 6,500 people worldwide, delivering end-to-end solutions for mining, de-watering, transportation, milling, processing and waste management activities.
Like many businesses in Todmorden, the foundry has been affected by the flooding that has hit the upper Calder Valley in recent weeks.
When rising waters entered the premises on June 22, employees came in outside working hours to lend a hand in the clean-up operation.
Mr Locke said: “I want to say a huge thank you for everyone’s efforts on the night of Friday June 22 and over the weekend.
“It made a real difference both in terms of minimising the impact and helping us to get production back up and running as quickly as we did.
“The team spirit in this company is fantastic and makes me proud to be a part of it.”