Forklift truck-maker Translift Bendi has announced a major £359,000 expansion of its headquarters in Redditch.

The firm has bought a nearby factory/warehouse unit at No 56 for its new UK parts centre.

The property deal was put together by agents John Truslove, and Translift Bendi says expansion over the coming year will provide “a massive boost for the Midlands and the UK manufacturing industry as a whole with significant investment in people and machinery already in place at our production plant”.

Its skilled workforce is increasing from 115 to 125 and the company is continuing to invest heavily in existing buildings and machinery, having acquired another 10,000 sq ft for planned growth in addition to the Parts Centre complex which itself represents 4,229 sq ft.

Paul Overfield, Bendi operations director, explained: “Like many manufacturers we have used the Eastern Europe and Asian manufacturing route to great success over recent years.

“High local manufacturing costs and an incredibly fast growing market meant we had to source engineering partners with the right ability and the right cost base.

“However, we ultimately decided the only way forward for our industry and our country was to bring it all back home – Britain now has a competitive cost base, all the required skills and, hopefully, a growing focus from the Government to assist.

“That is why, for the past five years, Translift Bendi has been focused on growing its UK manufacturing base to be capable of building all of its products for sale worldwide. That effort and success has paid dividends in sales, with customers realising that they are dealing with a true manufacturing base.”

Mr Overfield said that despite an EU registration quirk which allowed some suppliers to claim their products were “British Made”, very few British-owned companies were making their trucks here.

“You need to be cutting the steel, bending, fabricating, machining, folding, painting, basically processing the steel and components to become a truck rather than simply adding a data plate to a chassis rolling out of a container,” he cautioned.

John Truslove partner Ian Parker said: “It is thrilling to see a terrific West Midlands manufacturer developing in this way.

“This is great news for Redditch and the wider region. We are very pleased to have played a small part in their success.”