A new £6 million automotive factory that will create more than 150 jobs in Staffordshire has been opened.
Stoke-on-Trent Regeneration formally handed over the keys to Swiss firm Rieter Automotive GB for their new factory at Trentham Lakes.
The 92,000 sq ft plant will supply carpets and acoustical trim components to all the major car producers in the UK.
The complex will provide employment for about 160 people by the middle of the year with possibilities for further growth.
Stoke-on-Trent Regeneration is the joint venture between Birmingham-based developers St Modwen and Stoke-on-Trent council.
St Modwen's chief executive Bill Oliver did the honours with Martin Hands, Rieter's chief executive.
Construction work was completed in December and first production will commence later this month.
Completion came exactly one year to the day after the first enquiry was received from Rieter's advisers.
Stoke-on-Trent Regeneration has designed the building to Rieter's specifications, obtained detailed planning permission, diverted a public footpath and constructed the new factory including a substantial fitting out to meet Rieter's tight production deadlines.
The completion of this latest building together with the Glen Electrical new distribution centre currently under construction, will bring the total development at Trentham Lakes to almost 1.5 million sq ft and provide about 2,500 new jobs.
2006 is the tenth anniversary of the closure of Hem Heath Colliery that used to occupy the site and more jobs are now provided there than when the announcement of the colliery's closure was made in 1992.
Mr Oliver said: "It is extremely pleasing to have brought a new manufacturing facility to Stoke at a time when so much of the UK's manufacturing is being transferred overseas.
"Rieter set us a considerable challenge to have their new facility completed in time for production to commence in 2006." ..SUPL: