The Revival of Local Manufacturing

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Adam Barber
January 23, 2012
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This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
The Revival of Local Manufacturing

Everyone likes a success story. Particularly when it comes to European manufacturing.

There’s something inherently tangible about it. For service-based economies in particular, there’s a clear sense of satisfaction attached. And more broadly, there’s the feeling of a job well done.

Perhaps that’s why the work in one particular corner of the market raised smiles all round, last week, following the news that Welsh manufacturer Mabey Bridge has won a multi-million pound turbine tower order, from Nordex.

The deal marks the culmination of what has been quite a journey for the private family-owned business that initially made a name for itself building railway bridges way back in the 1850’s.

As part of the deal, the business will supply 35 wind turbine towers of between 65 and 70 metres high, with work kicking off in February.

The 170 staff working on the project will work a 24 hour-a-day shift pattern, 45 of whom are new hires, with a further 50 people transferred from the group’s bridge building operations.

And while Mabey Bridge has been quick to communicate the benefits of building British, the win reflects a wider company commitment, following the opening of its £38m facility in May of last year.

But there’s something else that the deal highlights... It highlights the sheer size and scale of wind turbine structures in the future - a shift that might just be more noteworthy than you’d think.

For investors and manufacturers, the short-term benefits are already clear – since bigger turbines generate better returns, demand greater levels of investment and facilitate future expansion and growth. However, for governments looking for economic stability and growth, the longer-term market benefits are greater still.

Why? Because put bluntly, when you’re building 120 tonne structures, you don’t want to have to ship the stuff, all that far from the installation site.

That’s something that spells bad news for international trade and good news for the regeneration of local manufacturing markets. It also helps to go someway to explaining why – despite shedding jobs – global heavyweights such as Tata Steel are now also bidding for and winning UK wind energy contracts.

With time, the likes of Mabey Bridge might just prove to be the David, to Tata Steel’s Goliath.

Everyone likes a success story. Particularly when it comes to European manufacturing.

There’s something inherently tangible about it. For service-based economies in particular, there’s a clear sense of satisfaction attached. And more broadly, there’s the feeling of a job well done.

Perhaps that’s why the work in one particular corner of the market raised smiles all round, last week, following the news that Welsh manufacturer Mabey Bridge has won a multi-million pound turbine tower order, from Nordex.

The deal marks the culmination of what has been quite a journey for the private family-owned business that initially made a name for itself building railway bridges way back in the 1850’s.

As part of the deal, the business will supply 35 wind turbine towers of between 65 and 70 metres high, with work kicking off in February.

The 170 staff working on the project will work a 24 hour-a-day shift pattern, 45 of whom are new hires, with a further 50 people transferred from the group’s bridge building operations.

And while Mabey Bridge has been quick to communicate the benefits of building British, the win reflects a wider company commitment, following the opening of its £38m facility in May of last year.

But there’s something else that the deal highlights... It highlights the sheer size and scale of wind turbine structures in the future - a shift that might just be more noteworthy than you’d think.

For investors and manufacturers, the short-term benefits are already clear – since bigger turbines generate better returns, demand greater levels of investment and facilitate future expansion and growth. However, for governments looking for economic stability and growth, the longer-term market benefits are greater still.

Why? Because put bluntly, when you’re building 120 tonne structures, you don’t want to have to ship the stuff, all that far from the installation site.

That’s something that spells bad news for international trade and good news for the regeneration of local manufacturing markets. It also helps to go someway to explaining why – despite shedding jobs – global heavyweights such as Tata Steel are now also bidding for and winning UK wind energy contracts.

With time, the likes of Mabey Bridge might just prove to be the David, to Tata Steel’s Goliath.

Everyone likes a success story. Particularly when it comes to European manufacturing.

There’s something inherently tangible about it. For service-based economies in particular, there’s a clear sense of satisfaction attached. And more broadly, there’s the feeling of a job well done.

Perhaps that’s why the work in one particular corner of the market raised smiles all round, last week, following the news that Welsh manufacturer Mabey Bridge has won a multi-million pound turbine tower order, from Nordex.

The deal marks the culmination of what has been quite a journey for the private family-owned business that initially made a name for itself building railway bridges way back in the 1850’s.

As part of the deal, the business will supply 35 wind turbine towers of between 65 and 70 metres high, with work kicking off in February.

The 170 staff working on the project will work a 24 hour-a-day shift pattern, 45 of whom are new hires, with a further 50 people transferred from the group’s bridge building operations.

And while Mabey Bridge has been quick to communicate the benefits of building British, the win reflects a wider company commitment, following the opening of its £38m facility in May of last year.

But there’s something else that the deal highlights... It highlights the sheer size and scale of wind turbine structures in the future - a shift that might just be more noteworthy than you’d think.

For investors and manufacturers, the short-term benefits are already clear – since bigger turbines generate better returns, demand greater levels of investment and facilitate future expansion and growth. However, for governments looking for economic stability and growth, the longer-term market benefits are greater still.

Why? Because put bluntly, when you’re building 120 tonne structures, you don’t want to have to ship the stuff, all that far from the installation site.

That’s something that spells bad news for international trade and good news for the regeneration of local manufacturing markets. It also helps to go someway to explaining why – despite shedding jobs – global heavyweights such as Tata Steel are now also bidding for and winning UK wind energy contracts.

With time, the likes of Mabey Bridge might just prove to be the David, to Tata Steel’s Goliath.

Everyone likes a success story. Particularly when it comes to European manufacturing.

There’s something inherently tangible about it. For service-based economies in particular, there’s a clear sense of satisfaction attached. And more broadly, there’s the feeling of a job well done.

Perhaps that’s why the work in one particular corner of the market raised smiles all round, last week, following the news that Welsh manufacturer Mabey Bridge has won a multi-million pound turbine tower order, from Nordex.

The deal marks the culmination of what has been quite a journey for the private family-owned business that initially made a name for itself building railway bridges way back in the 1850’s.

As part of the deal, the business will supply 35 wind turbine towers of between 65 and 70 metres high, with work kicking off in February.

The 170 staff working on the project will work a 24 hour-a-day shift pattern, 45 of whom are new hires, with a further 50 people transferred from the group’s bridge building operations.

And while Mabey Bridge has been quick to communicate the benefits of building British, the win reflects a wider company commitment, following the opening of its £38m facility in May of last year.

But there’s something else that the deal highlights... It highlights the sheer size and scale of wind turbine structures in the future - a shift that might just be more noteworthy than you’d think.

For investors and manufacturers, the short-term benefits are already clear – since bigger turbines generate better returns, demand greater levels of investment and facilitate future expansion and growth. However, for governments looking for economic stability and growth, the longer-term market benefits are greater still.

Why? Because put bluntly, when you’re building 120 tonne structures, you don’t want to have to ship the stuff, all that far from the installation site.

That’s something that spells bad news for international trade and good news for the regeneration of local manufacturing markets. It also helps to go someway to explaining why – despite shedding jobs – global heavyweights such as Tata Steel are now also bidding for and winning UK wind energy contracts.

With time, the likes of Mabey Bridge might just prove to be the David, to Tata Steel’s Goliath.

Everyone likes a success story. Particularly when it comes to European manufacturing.

There’s something inherently tangible about it. For service-based economies in particular, there’s a clear sense of satisfaction attached. And more broadly, there’s the feeling of a job well done.

Perhaps that’s why the work in one particular corner of the market raised smiles all round, last week, following the news that Welsh manufacturer Mabey Bridge has won a multi-million pound turbine tower order, from Nordex.

The deal marks the culmination of what has been quite a journey for the private family-owned business that initially made a name for itself building railway bridges way back in the 1850’s.

As part of the deal, the business will supply 35 wind turbine towers of between 65 and 70 metres high, with work kicking off in February.

The 170 staff working on the project will work a 24 hour-a-day shift pattern, 45 of whom are new hires, with a further 50 people transferred from the group’s bridge building operations.

And while Mabey Bridge has been quick to communicate the benefits of building British, the win reflects a wider company commitment, following the opening of its £38m facility in May of last year.

But there’s something else that the deal highlights... It highlights the sheer size and scale of wind turbine structures in the future - a shift that might just be more noteworthy than you’d think.

For investors and manufacturers, the short-term benefits are already clear – since bigger turbines generate better returns, demand greater levels of investment and facilitate future expansion and growth. However, for governments looking for economic stability and growth, the longer-term market benefits are greater still.

Why? Because put bluntly, when you’re building 120 tonne structures, you don’t want to have to ship the stuff, all that far from the installation site.

That’s something that spells bad news for international trade and good news for the regeneration of local manufacturing markets. It also helps to go someway to explaining why – despite shedding jobs – global heavyweights such as Tata Steel are now also bidding for and winning UK wind energy contracts.

With time, the likes of Mabey Bridge might just prove to be the David, to Tata Steel’s Goliath.

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Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.