A ‘world-class centre of excellence in ceramics’ is one step closer as major employer Lucideon secures a new factory in North Staffordshire.
The global materials development and testing company has taken on a new factory as part of a collaborative effort to put the Midlands on the map as a world leader in advanced ceramics.
Lucideon is one of several businesses that make up the Midlands Industrial Ceramics Group (MICG) – which includes big-name firms such as Rolls-Royce and JCB along with the universities of Birmingham, Loughborough and Leicester.
In July, the group secured £18.7 million in funding through the UK Research and Innovation’s Strength in Places Fund (SIPF) – with £14 million of that going to Lucideon.
Now the Stoke-on-Trent company has used some of the funding to invest in an additional facility which will help it to play a key part in creating a “world-leading” industrial research and development programme over the next four years.
The 92,000 sq ft facility on Stone Business Park – which formerly belonged to Renishaw – is expected to be up and running by the end of November.
While the facility will be occupied by Lucideon, it will be open to businesses from the wider industry to pilot, trial and launch new processes.
It is also expected to lead to the creation of 250 new jobs at Lucideon by 2025.
Lucideon Chief Executive Tony Kinsella said:
One of the goals is to create spin-out businesses and a magnet for global manufactures to both expand and invest here in North Staffordshire.
The plan is to create over 4,200 high paid jobs, right here in North Staffordshire, along with all the supply chain and hospitality business this will draw in.
One of the aims of the MICG is to improve manufacturing processes in the sector – to make them more energy-efficient, faster and cheaper. It also wants to develop an ‘advanced ceramics campus’ in Stoke-on-Trent.
This has been almost five years in the making and up until now this has been a dream, a vision, but securing the funding has made it a reality, so I’m very excited about getting the new space.
The overall goal is to get back to Stoke-on-Trent and have a ‘ceramic campus’ – that’s what everyone has always dreamed of.