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Manufacturer HydraForce expanding after funding boost

The company, which employs 280 at its European headquarters at Aston, is on the lookout for land in the city to build a larger base and has been given £1.8 million from the Government's Regional Growth Fund this week

HydraForce UK managing director Peter Macdonald
HydraForce UK managing director Peter Macdonald

Hydraulic manufacturing company HydraForce has been given the green light for major expansion plans after a funding boost.

The company, which employs 280 at its European headquarters at Aston, is on the lookout for land in the city to build a larger base and has been given £1.8 million from the Government's Regional Growth Fund this week.

HydraForce, which celebrated 25 years in Birmingham last year, has a turnover of £49 million and wants to move its entire factory and staff to the premises during summer 2015.

The announcement comes following a huge increase in demand for its engineering products and expertise from across the world.

UK managing director Peter Macdonald said: "Overseas markets for our products and expertise are growing, HydraForce now exports over 80 per cent of our manufactured goods and over the last year we have seen a substantial increase in demand.

"To meet future demand we must expand our Birmingham-based manufacturing operations which means moving to a larger site as we have outgrown our current St Stephens Street building at Aston."

Mr Macdonald said the firm wants to stay close to its current site because it doesn't want to lose staff.

The privately owned, high-quality precision manufacturer has facilities in North America and Asia alongside its Birmingham factory which designs and makes hydraulic equipment and assemblies for the fast-growing agricultural and construction industries across Europe and Asia.

Mr Macdonald said the company's expansion would mean an increase in jobs.

He said: "Many of our staff have been with us for years and we value their expertise very highly, so we don't want to move out of the area."

He added: "Attracting the right people with the right skills at the right time is an on-going challenge for all employers, but we have a well-established apprenticeship programme and are currently working to establish a graduate placement scheme for the future."

HydraForce was established in Chicago in 1985 but set up a base in the UK just three years later, such was the potential for business in the UK and Europe.

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