EXCAVATOR manufacturer Komatsu UK is celebrating a quarter of a century in business at their Birtley-based facility.
A delegation of senior executives from the firm’s global headquarters in Japan and its European headquarters in Brussels visited the North East this week to celebrate the success of Komatsu UK, 25 years after its official opening by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales on July 16, 1987.
An international leader in the field of construction and mining equipment, Komatsu primarily chose Birtley for the site of its UK operations because of the highly-skilled local workforce available in the region and its location for transport routes to supply Europe.
Over the last 25 years, Komatsu UK has produced over 59,000 machines and has achieved a cumulative turnover of over £3.8bn, making an enormous contribution to the region’s economy. Over 400 are currently employed at the site. Director of Komatsu Ltd, Mr Ohashi, said: “We can all look back with pride at what Komatsu has achieved over the years.
“So much of our success can be attributed to our people. We have made excellent foundations for our future. We will continue to invest not only in the Komatsu UK facility and our employees, but will also continue to support the local community.”
In 1991, Komatsu City and Gateshead were twinned, and the catalyst for this twinning, was the establishment of Komatsu UK. In 2011, the Komatsu City Friendship Garden was opened in Saltwell Park to mark the occasion of the 20th anniversary.
Coun Mick Henry, leader of Gateshead Council, said: “Over the past quarter of a century, Gateshead and Komatsu have developed a fantastic relationship. That relationship has become not only a major part of our economy but an important part of our community, too.”