Fort Vale raises research bar
Fort Vale, the Simonstone-based engineering firm, has expanded its UK operation.Work has now been completed on Fort Vale Engineering’s new £1.5 million innovation, research and revelopment centre and the firm hopes there will be scope to continue developing the site as the company grows.
As part of Fort Vale’s ongoing commitment to innovation, the 20,000 sq ft space will house a new Apprentice Training Centre and tool room. Apprentices will benefit from a 100 per cent increase in dedicated training space and investment of £350,000 in their development as engineers.
A world leader in the design and precision manufacture of valves and equipment for the builders of road tankers and ISO container tanks that transport liquid, gas and hazardous cargo globally, Fort Vale has started taking on projects within the nuclear sector.Director Andrew Bryce says: “We believe in investing in our future and our new centre will allow us to maintain our market share and have the extra production capacity for new sectors.
“Although we are a worldwide operation, it’s important to keep the main production in Lancashire and capitalise on the area’s talent. We have also expanded the on-site Apprentice Training Centre to ensure we continue the dedication to young people we have shown over the past 45 years.”Established in 1967, Fort Vale enjoys an 80 per cent global market share, exports 90 per cent of its sales and is a three-time recipient of the Queen’s Award for Exports. The firm employs 330 people locally, with 150 more at its subsidiaries in the USA, Holland, Russia, Australia, Singapore, and China.