Jobs boost at award-winning foundry

Weir Minerals Europe receive the Queen's Award for Enterprise at the foundry in Todmorden. Pictured are Lord Lieutenant Dr Ingrid Roscoe, with CEO Keith Cochrane and MD Tony Locke.

Weir Minerals Europe receive the Queen's Award for Enterprise at the foundry in Todmorden. Pictured are Lord Lieutenant Dr Ingrid Roscoe, with CEO Keith Cochrane and MD Tony Locke.

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A business is celebrating winning a prestigious award and the opening of new facilities which have created new jobs and will make it a global leader.

Weir Minerals Europe Ltd. which manufactures pumps and equipment used by industrial businesses around the world, was presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for the second time during a special ceremony at its Halifax Road base, Todmorden, on Friday, attended by employees, civic guests and members of the local community.

And the ribbon was cut to officially open the £5m extension to its foundry, which has created dozens of jobs and will help the company to meet more international demand for its products and services.

Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid Roscoe, who presented the award, said the commitment and enthusiasm of the staff and quality of the products are key to Weir Minerals receiving one of the highest honours given to businesses in the UK.

“What you have here is priceless,” she said.

“It’s such a delight to come back and celebrate this tremendous company.”

Tony Locke, managing director of Weir Minerals Europe Ltd, said it was a great honour to accept the award in the year the company celebrates its 120th anniversary in Todmorden.

“The key reason for our success is the people we have in our business,” he said.

“We are extremely lucky to have such an enthusiastic workforce and without their continued hard work we would not be achieving this award.

“The ethos of the team is exceptional and ensures we are well placed to meet the challenges of today.”

Since the company won the Queen’s Award for the first time in 2008, it has seen orders grow significantly year on year.

It has expanded its services throughout Europe, extending its reach into countries including Spain, Turkey and Kazakhstan.

The foundry extension houses a state-of-the-art production system for heavier metal castings and has increased output capacity at the site.

Mr Locke said trading in 2013 is going “pretty strongly” despite a very challenging market.

Keith Cochrane, chief executive of the Weir group, said: “To be awarded the Queen’s Award twice in five years is a fantastic achievement and is due to great products, service, ambition and hard work.

“When Todmorden won its first Queen’s Award in 2008 we knew it would not be the last.

“It has continued to deliver impressive financial results.

“It is putting Todmorden on the map and we will be aiming for the hat-trick.”

Both Mr Locke and Mr Cochrane thanked the local community for its support, which has helped the business flourish over the years.

Mr Cochrane said: “We have great people here who are passionate about engineering and manufacturing.

“The community spirit is one of the reasons why manufacturing has flourished here for over a century.

“We have a strong relationship with the local community who understand the importance of a business like this to a place like Todmorden.”

Mr Locke said: “Being part of Todmorden’s heritage means a lot to the company and we look forward to working closely with our friends here in the community for years to come.”

Mayor of Todmorden Coun Jayne Booth, who was among the guests on the day, was full of praise for the business, especially its apprenticeship scheme which provides opportunities for young people.

“To me, it’s perfect for the town,” she said.