Caption: Left to right on site are: Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for transport and the economy; Liam Magill, managing director of Orion and Roger Marsh, chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership
A manufacturer of computer racking and enclosure systems has been confirmed as the latest company planning to relocate to the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone, which is set to become one of the UK’s premier locations for business investment and expansion.
A deal has been agreed with developer CDP Ltd to build a 30,000 sq ft manufacturing facility for Orion, a specialist supplier to the server and data centre markets. The company is investing £2.6 million in new purpose-built premises at Thornes Farm in the Enterprise Zone.
A grant of £358,000 has been received from Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) towards the cost of the relocation, new plant and machinery, which is expected to create up to 30 new jobs including four apprenticeships.
Orion’s new premises are one of three units being built at Thornes Farm by developer CDP Ltd on land formerly owned by Leeds City Council, which is leading the development of the Enterprise Zone in partnership with the LEP and private sector developers.
Work started in January on a 50,000 sq ft operations centre for packaging firm Samuel Grant Group Ltd and a further 20,000 sq ft unit is being developed speculatively. It brings the total employment and development space currently under construction in the Enterprise Zone to 425,000 sq ft.
Developments by Wilton and Muse at the Connex 45 and Logic Leeds sites will see 160,000 sq ft of premium industrial space ready for occupation this summer. Work is also well underway on Veolia’s 165,000 sq ft recycling and energy recovery facility at Newmarket Lane.
Engineering and infrastructure work currently underway at Temple Green and Logic Leeds, the two largest sites within the Enterprise Zone, will pave the way for further stages of development with the potential to accommodate buildings up to 500,000 sq ft suitable for large scale manufacturing, distribution and logistics uses.
The move by Orion is part of an ambitious five-year plan to double the company’s workforce from 30 to 60 employees and expand into new markets in the UK and overseas. Orion’s existing workforce, currently based in Wortley, will relocate to the new facility which is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.
Managing director of Orion Liam Magill said:
“Our existing premises are at full capacity with no scope for further expansion. The new, purpose-built facility will allow us to scale up and take advantage of significant growth opportunities we have identified. Our plan is to employ local staff along with graduates and apprentices who will be trained to the highest engineering standards.
“These are exciting times for the company. Support from the LEP has given us a major opportunity to expand our business at a faster rate than previously envisaged, opening doors to export as well as domestic markets.”
Leeds City Council executive member for transport and the economy Councillor Richard Lewis said:
“There is real momentum developing in the enterprise zone with companies moving to take advantage of the combination of incentives and benefits it presents as a location for modern manufacturing and related supply chain companies.
“Situated at the heart of a £60 billion economy and enjoying superb transport links, the Enterprise Zone is a first class business location. But what sets it apart is the scale of the opportunity. Over the next ten years, the Enterprise Zone has the potential to attract unprecedented levels of investment, create thousands of skilled jobs and deliver a major boost to the Leeds City Region economy.”
Chair of the LEP Roger Marsh said:
“I am delighted that LEP investment has enabled yet another company to locate in the enterprise zone, as well as support a fast-growing business in a key employment sector to expand and create new jobs.
“The fact that ambitious firms such as Orion see the enterprise zone as the ideal place to realise their growth potential underlines the strength of investment opportunity in the zone – particularly for firms in the modern manufacturing sector. LEP funding is enabling businesses such as Orion to bring forward these investments, accelerating growth for the benefit of people across the entire City Region.”
Orion takes product from sheet steel through to fabrication, powder coating and assembly to build bespoke housing systems for the data centre and IT markets. The business has been trading for 13 years and has grown to become the UK’s leading manufacturer of enclosure systems, with clients including AT&T, National Air Traffic Control, construction company Laing and a number of government agencies.