New jobs created at Burnley solar panels firm

WELL DONE: Gordon Birtwistle on a recent visit to Solarlec (S)
WELL DONE: Gordon Birtwistle on a recent visit to Solarlec (S)

MP Gordon Birtwistle has commended Burnley firm Solarlec for its growth and expansion over the last 12 months.

The Liberal Democrat MP enjoyed a tour of the company’s Billington Road base during a series of summer business visits in the region.

Solarlec, which designs and supplies solar PV panel systems, will create 15 new jobs following the completion of £150,000 expansion plans at its premises, which include the development of a new training centre and the addition of new vans to its fleet.

The company has also opened offices in Cumbria and Nottingham and launched a £1.6m. campaign this month to provide free solar panels to local homes.

Mr Birtwistle, who asked Solarlec to assess the suitability of his own home for solar panels, said: “It’s great to see companies like Solarlec creating opportunities and putting our region on the map.”

Solarlec quizzed Mr Birtwistle on the government feed-in tariff, which sees energy suppliers pay cash to homeowners who generate their own electricity.

Director Ged Rowbottom said: “We’ve just had our most successful two-month period, selling more than 100 systems in June and July respectively, which has allowed us to expand.

“If the government promoted the feed-in tariff scheme, the public would really grasp what a great opportunity solar panels represent and we’d be able to create even more jobs and expand further.”

Mr Birtwistle said he fully supported the scheme.

Solarlec was named “small business of the year” at the Burnley Business and Innovation Awards 2011. For more information, visit