A 100 new jobs on the way with £2.7m govt cash

Justice minister Simon Hughes (C) visits Harvard Engineering (Normanton) to witness how �2.7 million of funding is being used to help bring 356 new jobs into the city (Wakefield).'w314f441
Justice minister Simon Hughes (C) visits Harvard Engineering (Normanton) to witness how �2.7 million of funding is being used to help bring 356 new jobs into the city (Wakefield).'w314f441

An electronics firm will nearly triple in size after receiving a £2.7m government funding boost.

Harvard Engineering, of Tyler Close, Normanton, secured the investment from the government’s Regional Growth Fund 18 months ago.

Since then they have increased their workforce from 180 staff to 403, and will recruit a further 100 employees during the next three years.

The firm will use part of the funding to build a new purpose-built 80,000sq ft factory in Premier Way, which starts on Monday.

Simon Hughes, Minister of State for Justice and Civil Liberties, visited the company yesterday to see how the funding had been spent.

He said: “I have been very impressed to see a company which started in someone’s kitchen grow and employee hundreds of people from the local area.

“This business is ahead of the curve and distributes its products all around the world.

“The Regional Growth Fund has helped boost the local economy and with further investment the company will continue to grow and benefit Wakefield.”

Mr Hughes was given a tour of the factory and shown the new automated machinery, which cost £250,000 each.

Financial director Martin Baum said: “We have invested the money into machinery which allows us to manufacture products cheaper.

“This will allow us to compete with other manufacturers and invest more money into expanding our team.

“We will be creating jobs from shop floor assembly workers, to sales and admin positions. We will be here for the long term.”

Harvard, which specialises in making LED street lighting control systems, was started by chief executive officer John McDonnell 21 years ago.

It had a factory in Leeds before moving to Normanton in 2011.

Mr Baum said they hoped to move into the new premises in July 2015.