A leading global automotive parts company is transferring all of its specialist international production lines to Burnley.
Up to 50 new jobs will be created at TRW in Eastern Avenue during a two-year operation which is expected to bring $11m. investment into the town.
There is a distinct family feel to our business with the average length of service being over 20 years. We recently signed a 10-year lease on the building and with the new positions being created we can celebrate our 50th with a real feel good factor about the placeOperations director John Kennedy
Operations director John Kennedy said the move demonstrates that Burnley, despite a number of setbacks in recent years, is still very much at the forefront of the manufacturing industry.
“Burnley’s always been brilliant at manufacturing. Nobody can touch us and that’s proven by the fact that, of all the places in the world, Burnley’s been selected as the place that’s got the right level of engineering skills and expertise to take every kind of product we make worldwide and bring it back here and manage it with a level of performance that is extremely high.”
TRW in Burnley has traditionally been the European service supplier providing low volume, specialist parts for the aftermarket automotive industry.
However, Mr Kennedy put forward a proposal last year for Burnley to become the firm’s global supplier, a move which would see the North American and South American business brought under one roof in East Lancashire.
“The bid was approved and I was given the job of getting all this work out of North America and getting it back here.
“It’s not just the assembly lines either, we’re also going to mould the parts in Burnley as well and we’re also talking to local companies about potentially supplying some of the electronic boards.
“In the last 12 months we’ve moved stuff in here from Spain, Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic. And then after the first phase in North America we’re going to go beyond that to Mexico and then Brazil.”
The first phase will see nine permanent salaried jobs created with the second leading to a further six. At least 30 shopfloor positions will also be created.
“The Burnley business, we’re an old Lucas business, we went down and it became flat,” said Mr Kennedy, who has been with the firm for 35 years.
“We always had our eye on this global service business and that’s where we’re at now.
“In the past three years we have increased the number of permanent employees on this site and we’ve recruited a small number, four or five, good salaried jobs for better qualified people.
“Add to that now the further 15 or so salaried jobs we are creating now and it’s going well.”
The Eastern Avenue site, the former home of Lucas before TRW’s takeover at the turn of the Millennium, actually celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
“There is a distinct family feel to our business with the average length of service being over 20 years. We recently signed a 10-year lease on the building and with the new positions being created we can celebrate our 50th with a real feel good factor about the place. We have a number of Burnley employees in Minnesota now and over the coming weeks a team of assembly operators will be joining them out there to support the transfers.”
Burnley firm Neville Gee is helping support the recruitment of the TRW team and co-owner Donnie Doran said it was brilliant news for the town.
“We are delighted to be working with TRW in recruiting these highly skilled engineering jobs.
“We’ll be running a campaign throughout Manchester and West Lancashire as well as East Lancashire to attract this talent into Burnley. And so far we have had a really good response.
“This recruitment process is an example of the work we’ve been doing at TRW for the past two years and we’re proud to be involved,
“As an ex Lucas employee myself I am delighted the Eastern Avenue site is back on the way up. In the late 1990s, jobs were being sent from this site to Europe.
“It’s fantastic news that it is these jobs, the high quality engineering ones, that are coming back to the area.”
Neville Gee will be holding a jobs open evening at Turf Moor on Thursday, March 12th, from 5-30 to 9pm.