Northumberland’s largest employer, Egger, which has invested more than £200m in its Hexham site over the past six years, today unveils its new state-of-the-art engineering facility and training academy.
The two-story building will be opened by Hexham MP Guy Opperman and Michael Egger, co-owner of the family business, at an event attended by a number of the company’s 40 apprentices, employees and civic leaders.
With 17 manufacturing sites in seven European countries, the Egger group has more than 7,000 employees and a £2bn turnover. Hexham was the Austrian company’s first foreign investment and, 30 years later, remains a key part of the group’s operation.
The new facility will bring engineering staff together in a single building, and with classrooms, offices, and workshops, will cater for the training of staff and apprentices.
Hexham’s Egger plant is currently one of the world’s most advanced and environmentally-friendly wood panel manufacturing sites.
Joint managing director Bob Livesey said: “As the largest manufacturing company in Northumberland we employ over 550 people, with a further 1,500 or so employed locally throughout the supply chain as a result of our existence.
“In spite of the size, scale and technological nature of operations at Hexham, it is our people that remain integral to our success and this new purpose-built engineering facility and training academy will allow us to continue to invest in the skills our business requires.
“As a 24-hour operation we have to be responsive to the needs of the plant, whatever time of the day or night. Therefore, our philosophy is to have the required skills and capabilities in-house and on-site and this new facility brings the whole department together under one roof to assist communication, collaborative work, development and efficiencies.”
By Robert Gibson