West Yorkshire: Future’s bright as £2.7m grant set to create 300 jobs

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Around 300 new jobs are set to be created at a Wakefield manufacturing company thanks to a £2.7m government funding boost.

Bosses at Harvard Engineering say the Regional Growth Fund cash means the company will be able to expand manufacturing of LED lighting systems at its Normanton Industrial Estate base.

The company – which moved to Normanton from a site in Beeston, Leeds, 18 months ago – has turned over £26m since last November.

Company finance director Martin Baum said: This grant is very good news for the Wakefield economy.

“We draw 90 per cent of our workforce from the immediate location. Over the next five years this is going to create 300 more jobs in all areas of our business, from research and development, right the way through the business to shop floor production work.

“We are really pleased. It will allow us to invest money in further machinery and automation in our factory, which means we don’t have to send the manufacturing of the product to the Far East or Eastern Europe. We can keep the manufacturing here in the Wakefield district.”

Meanwhile, Wakefield companies will also benefit from two Leeds City Region programmes that have secured Regional Growth Funding.

The Key Growth Clusters Programme will provide grants of between £100,000 and £1m. It will help businesses from across the Leeds City Region to grow by supporting investment in new equipment, infrastructure or research and development activity.

The SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) Employment Growth Programme is a grants programme seeking to invest between £10,000 and £100,000 in SMEs Funds will be available for approximately 200 SMEs.

Coun Denise Jeffery of Wakefield Council said he local authority has worked closely with the Leeds City region to develop the bids, adding: “Boosting small and medium size companies is critical to creating more jobs in the district.”

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