Fit-out underway at automation specialist Sewtec’s new multi-million pound 75,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Inventive interiors - Sewtec's new Wakefield facility will receive a multi-million pound makeover (artist's impression of reception area)

Work is underway to fit-out industrial robotics specialist Sewtec Automation’s new multi-million pound 75,000 sq ft design and manufacturing facility in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

As part of the company’s ongoing growth and transformation strategy, Sewtec Automation has signed a 15-year lease on a building located at Silkwood Park near junction 40 of the M1. The new location is more than double the size of its current premises in Dewsbury and Wakefield combined.

Sewtec Automation designs, manufactures, installs and commissions complex industrial automation systems for global blue-chip clients in the pharmaceutical, personal care, pet care, food and beverage and tobacco industries. More than 85 per cent of the company’s sales are exports. Sewtec Automation’s clients include Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Imperial Tobacco, Tata Global Beverages and Hershey.

Last year, Sewtec Automation announced its turnover had more than doubled to a record £28m with EBITDA of £9m, in the year to 30 June 2019. The company is now aiming to deliver a turnover of £50m by 2023.

Investment in the new facility is supported by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Business Growth Programme with a £250,000 grant for Sewtec Automation to invest in its new headquarters and to implement its recruitment strategy. The company estimates the new site will create an additional 70 high-skilled jobs.

Derbyshire-based Key Property Solutions is the main contractor on the fit-out after being appointed following a competitive tendering process. The new facility will include modern R&D and office spaces, with breakout areas to further enhance innovation and problem-solving. It will also provide a significant increase in the sizes of the assembly area, machine shop, quality control, fabrication bays and stores.

Works are expected to last ten weeks with all Sewtec Automation’s 130 employees from its existing Dewsbury and Wakefield sites undergoing a phased relocation to the facility from March onwards.

Commenting on this latest news, Sewtec Automation managing director, Mark Cook, said: “Demand for our inventive and highly effective approach to automation continues to grow worldwide.

“With work now underway at our new facility, the next stage of Sewtec Automation’s transformation is almost upon us and we are all motivated and excited by the new opportunities our new facility will deliver.

“Our investment, combined with the support of the LEP and Wakefield Council, means we will be in the optimum position for further expansion and job creation as soon as we move in.”

Sewtec Automation’s rapid growth follows a successful management buyout in August 2017, which was backed by Leeds-headquartered private equity firm Endless.

Roger Marsh OBE DL, chair of LEP and NP11, said:“Investment is a key factor in helping our businesses to grow, improve productivity andultimately create new jobs.

Last year, through our Business Growth Programme, we invested £5.9 million to support 128 businesses in the region and contributed to the creation of 704 jobs.

“I’d encourage all businesses to get in touch with the LEP Growth Service and access the support available for growing businesses”

Darren Byford, cabinet member for economic growth and regeneration at Wakefield Council, said: “We are very pleased that Sewtec Automation has chosen to expand their operations in Wakefield. It’s great news, bringing quality new jobs and opportunities in a growing sector.

“With strong transport links and a great business community, Wakefield provides an excellent location for investment. As part of our economic strategy we are very keen to support businesses to help them to grow and expand, offering a range of support and advice to both established and new businesses within our district.”

Fox Lloyd Jones (FLJ), which advised on the building’s acquisition, is project managing the fit-out supported by architects Enjoy Design and Triangle Consulting Engineers. FLJ and Enjoy Design are both located in Leeds, whilst Triangle Consulting Engineers are based in Tadcaster.

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