A £2.7m jobs boost

John McDonnell MD of street lighting firm Harvard Engineering
John McDonnell MD of street lighting firm Harvard Engineering

THREE hundred manufacturing jobs will be created at a Normanton company thanks to a £2.7m government funding boost.

Electronics firm Harvard Engineering has secured the investment from the government’s Regional Growth Fund to expand its workforce.

During the next five years, the company will recruit staff and expand its offices and research laboratories at Tyler Close, Normanton, where it moved from Leeds 18 months ago.

The move is expected to boost the district economy, which has been hit by rising unemployment and a lack of manufacturing jobs during the recession.

Martin Baum, Harvard’s finance director, said: “It will be growth across the whole company, and will create jobs from shop floor assembly workers to fully qualified design engineers.

“The new people we will employ will be spending their money in the area, so it will help the whole local economy.”

Harvard was expecting to increase its turnover from £26m to £36m next year, Mr Baum added.

John McDonnell, Harvard’s managing director, said the investment would help the company expand overseas and retain a workforce in Normanton.

He said: “Our international growth is a key part of our long-term strategy and the Regional Growth Fund grant will enable us to develop our manufacturing facility in West Yorkshire and grow our capabilities world-wide.”

Normanton MP Yvette Cooper said recession-hit businesses in the district still needed help from the government to create jobs.

She said: “These new jobs will be really important in Normanton, especially after the jobs that have been lost.”