Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Business Secretary Vince Cable today visited David Brown in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, to personally sign a £2million Regional Growth Fund (RGF) grant for a major project in the region.
The RGF, alongside David Brown’s investment of £2.8million, will boost the company’s growth in the renewable energy sector – in the UK and worldwide – and secure and create 80 jobs in the area.
David Brown, a globally operating expert in gear technology products and services, will develop a world-class wind gearbox research and development (R&D) centre as part of a new state-of-the-art facility being planned in Yorkshire. The wind gearbox R&D centre will enable the company to develop and test new gearing technology for the wind industry, utilising its experience and expertise in other high-integrity industries, such as mining, conventional power, oil and gas,rail and defence.
David Brown in the wind industry
Once famous for its tractors and as previous owners of Aston Martin, David Brown is today recognised for its gearing expertise andcapabilities globally and continues to play a key role in the UK defence industry. It was an early entrant into the renewables sector a quarter of acentury ago, supplying gearboxes for turbines during California’s first wind energy boom. More recently, in 2009, it launched a dedicated wind service business, in response to its continued and increasing provision of gear service solutions across the global market.
Beyond wind energy and traditional industries, David Brown has been developing gear systems for solar, hydro and tidal applications – from large-scale commercial installations to cutting-edge research projects. The company is now experiencing rapid growth in these new sectors – but especially in wind energy. David Brown already invests heavily in skills development through internal programmes and apprenticeship schemes and through co-operation with Huddersfield University to ensure its workforce is ready for growth.
Today’s ministerial visit
The ministerial visit included a tour of the site in Huddersfield where Nick Clegg and Vince Cable got a close-up view of some wind turbine gears and David Brown’s design, testing, service and manufacturing facilities. Engineers and apprentices used the opportunity to talk to the Ministers about their jobs and training.
From Ian Farquhar, Managing Director Wind, the Ministers learned about David Brown’s current part in renewables supply chains in the UK and around the world. Explaining a number of projects from onshore wind in China to offshore wind and tidal energy in the UK, Ian stressed that innovation and the investment in new technologies are key to creating jobs in the UK.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “This is a great boost for the economy inYorkshire. The investment of £2m announced today for David Brown will support them as they expand their capabilities. Support of this kind is vital if we are to help create jobs where they are most needed and lever important private sector investment.
“The aim of the Regional Growth Fund is to help people unlock the growth opportunities in their area and support new and innovative ways of operating. I am looking forward to making more announcements of this kind in coming weeks.”
Ian Farquhar commented: “At David Brown we strive to be experts in the gearing technologies of tomorrow – be it in transport, energy or industry – to ensure sustainable growth of our operations in the UK and around the world. There’s a lot the Government can do to help create an environment in which companies like David Brown flourish, for example through the further development of a world class port infrastructure, through funding support for new manufacturing and testing facilities – like the grant we’re receiving today – and through assistance with our skills initiatives.”
David Brown, owned by Clyde Blowers Capital, is a leading supplier of gearboxes and gearing technology products and services across various industries including rail, wind energy, solar energy, conventional power, mining, oil & gas.
Since it was established in 1860 in Huddersfield, David Brown has grown to become one of the leading engineering companies specialising in the supply and servicing of gear products in the world, developing a far-reaching global network of operations. It has always retained its local facility in Lockwood and developed strong links with the local community, which includes investing in the local talent pool and cultivating new talent in conjunction with Huddersfield University.