Investment of £10m into machining facility to create 60 jobs in Blackburn

WEC's Steve Hartley and Steve Fitzpatrick

Blackburn-based engineering group WEC is investing £10m to build a new 60,000 sq. ft heavy machining and nuclear fabrication facility in Walker Park, Blackburn, creating 60 new jobs including 10 additional machining apprentices.

The new development is designed to expand 40 year old WEC’s business and will, the business claims, “cement its position as the premier subcontract manufacturing business in the UK”.

The new division is set to become one of the largest subcontract machining facilities in Europe by the company best known as a UK metal fabrication and engineering business.

Located adjacent to the WEC machining facility and the recently inaugurated Apprentice Academy, the new purpose-built development will support the UK’s industrial capabilities in key sectors such as nuclear, defence, offshore, and general engineering.

“Our £10 million investment in WEC Heavy Machining and Nuclear Fabrication underscores our ongoing commitment to adding value to our customers’ supply chains and this consolidates our position in the UK’s number 1 subcontract manufacturing company,” said Steve Fitzpatrick, CEO of Machining at WEC Group. 

“With this new facility, we are not only expanding our capacity but also enhancing our overall ability to deliver turnkey solutions for large and oversized projects.”

In the last financial year to December 2022, WEC made pre-tax profits of £5.9m on turnover of £43.1m. The company’s owners are registered in the United States of America. 

The facility will be equipped with six large CNC machining centres, capable of handling components up to 20 meters in length and 5 meters in diameter, significantly expanding the Group’s existing capabilities, which already include 3 large Correa Axia’s and an Asquith Butler travelling column large milling machines already in place within the group’s existing Blackburn and Darwen facilities.

“The scale and precision of our new equipment are set to transform the subcontracting landscape, offering unparalleled services in the UK,” he added.

Steve Hartley, group managing director, said during the groundbreaking ceremony: “This expansion is a pivotal part of our strategy to maintain and extend our leadership in the subcontract manufacturing industry. We are proud to invest in not only our company’s future but also in the economic growth of Blackburn and the wider region.”

WEC Heavy Machining and Nuclear Fabrication facility will create 60 new jobs including 10 additional machining apprentices, which the company says further supports the local community and strengthens the skilled workforce trained at their Apprentice Academy.

With 900 staff and 9 manufacturing sites in Lancashire, Merseyside, Yorkshire and the West Midlands, the company comprises of 15 specialist divisions spread across over 600,000 square feet of production facilities.

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