Skip to content
Home » Multimillion-Pound Investment Brings New Jobs And Machinery To Armstrong Works

Multimillion-Pound Investment Brings New Jobs And Machinery To Armstrong Works

The new owners of two North East defence specialists have announced multimillion-pound investments to bring in new jobs, new equipment and factory upgrades.

Pearson Engineering and Responsive Engineering were acquired in an undisclosed deal by global defence giant Rafael last September, with the Israeli contractor pledging to plough fresh investment into the industrial leaders.

Now the companies have received significant backing from Rafael to create a raft of new jobs, with more than £5m being spent on new manufacturing equipment for Responsive Engineering, which it said demonstrates the company’s commitment to the North East and to the future of UK manufacturing capability.

Read more: BAE Systems creates more than 200 jobs

The investments are designed to help the Armstrong Works firms play a leading role in the delivery of critical equipment across most of the UK’s armoured vehicle programmes, as well as serve a growing number of civilian markets such as rail, renewables, and construction.

Responsive Engineering’s manufacturing potential will be boosted by a new press brake, to enhance the companies’ armour manufacturing capability, allowing heavy armour plate to be shaped and formed without the need for welding. The company has also commissioned the manufacture of a new gantry milling machine, which will be one of the largest in Europe.

The machine will be able to achieve the highest tolerances on major fabrications, up to 11m in length, building on Responsive Engineering’s existing machining capability.

Rachel Mansfield, managing director at Responsive Engineering, said: “These equipment investments will help us to deliver projects to our customers of an even greater scale and complexity. They allow us to take on projects that have not previously been possible, but for which we have significant expertise and experience within our workforce. We are working hard to introduce new people to the business to take this incredible capability into the future, and to contribute towards the prosperity of our region.”

The companies, which have 80 employees between them, said they are also investing in the future of their workforces with a recruitment drive for more craftsmen, apprentices, graduates, and senior professionals. An initiative to ramp up links with local colleges will be announced this year to support Responsive Engineering’s talent pipeline with a future manufacturing academy, to build upon their commitment to developing the next generation of skilled professionals. The plan supports the company’s ESG strategy, which also prioritises support to veterans and service leavers.

In the last six months, a number of new staff initiatives have also been rolled out, including a healthcare plan and community activities. Further initiatives include the introduction of a cross-company Environment Action Group to find improvements to everyday operations, as well as research into the electrification of products, to reduce their long-lasting environmental impact.

Work is also being carried out on the Armstrong Works building itself, which was originally built in 1847.

Craig Priday, managing director at Pearson Engineering, added: “Investment in improvements to the historic Armstrong Works readies the site for the future and helps us to deliver against our commitment to our customers, across a wide range of sectors. Our customers, whether they are in defence, rail or energy require the highest levels of manufacturing capability, quality, and skill. We are proud of our continued commitment to investing in both our people and manufacturing capabilities, which also creates exciting and varied opportunities at both Pearson Engineering and Responsive Engineering, for generations to come.”

Story Saved

You can find this story in My Bookmarks.Or by navigating to the user icon in the top right.