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Building starts on new HydraForce factory at Birmingham's Advanced Manufacturing Hub

Published date : 15 October 2014

Today, Jim Brizzolara, president of international hydraulic manufacturing company, HydraForce, joined Birmingham City Councillor Tahir Ali, HydraForce managing director Peter Macdonald and Stuart Buckley of the Homes and Communities Agency at an official ground-breaking ceremony for HydraForce’s brand new 120,000 sq ft factory being built at Birmingham’s Advance Manufacturing Hub.

Jim Brizzolara (centre) with HydroForce colleagues and partners celebrating the start on site

HydraForce, which employs 280 at its European headquarters at Aston, Birmingham is building the new factory in response to a huge increase in demand for its products. The company is a Tier 1 supplier for neighbouring automotive giant Jaguar Land Rover and job numbers at the company, which last year turned over around £49 million, will almost double by 2018.

Using a £1.8 million grant from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, the company completed the deal with landowners, The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), over the summer and will move the entire business and staff to its new world class facility in August 2015.

HydraForce’s new building will expand its manufacturing facility by 70,000 sq ft and allow the company to bring the manufacturing of more of its products over to the UK from its parent company in the United States.

The move also sees HydraForce become the inaugural tenant of the Advanced Manufacturing Hub, one of six economic zones in Birmingham. The zones: advanced manufacturing; business & professional services; creative & digital media; life sciences; food & drink; IT, electronics & communications (ITEC)will provide growth environments for key sectors.

HydraForce managing director, Peter Macdonald, said:

“The Advanced Manufacturing Hub is the ideal site for us. It is logistically well-placed and very close to our existing premises at St Stephen’s Street, Aston so it will be easier for our staff to move with us.”

HydraForce president, Jim Brizzolara, who flew to the UK especially to participate in the ceremony alongside Dave Roberts, HydraForce’s Vice President of Strategic Planning and Development, added:

“We are delighted to witness the new stage of growth for HydraForce in Europe. Over 30% of our products are sold into the growing agricultural equipment sector and 80% of HydraForce’s UK output is exported."

Councillor Tahir Ali, Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for development, transportation and the economy said:

“Hydraforce’s decision to build its new facility at the Advanced Manufacturing Hub in Aston is testament to the strength of the City's advanced manufacturing sector and shows that our approach of targeting key growth sectors at particular sites continues to deliver new jobs and investment. We will be working closely with the company to ensure that the 200 new job opportunities are targeted at local people.”

Stuart Buckley, Development Manager for the HCA Midlands and the Agency’s lead for the Birmingham AMH said:

“HydraForce’s decision to grow its business in this part of the city is fantastic news and testament to the continued work of the HCA and City Council to promote this site to global business. We have used our land and investment to boost the Council’s economic zone and provide a world-class offer at the Advanced Manufacturing Hub."

£3 million has been invested by the HCA, who own most of the land at the AMH to improve road junctions and access to the site, as well as demolitions. A further 2 other plots are available for further advanced manufacturing companies and discussions are already taking place with other occupiers.