Thursday, July 24, 2008

Manufacturing alive and well in West Berkshire

Spend more than a few minutes on the business pages of any of the broadsheets and you would be forgiven for believing that the UK was devoid of any manufacturing operations. So Morgan PR was heartened this morning to visit Norma UK at New Greenham Park, the former airbase turned sprawling business park near Newbury.

Norma UK is a name that motorists familiar with passing New Greenham Park on the A339 will instantly recognise as it adorns the company's large office and manufacturing centre based there. Although I suspect few will realise that many cars, perhaps even their own, will contain precision parts engineered in that building.

In fact, the company, which is headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, operates across 60 countries, encompassing 24 subsidiaries and 15 manufacturing facilities. The company has approx. 3,300 employees and offers in excess of 35,000 products.

The managing director of Norma UK is Mike Lawrence, who explained what Norma UK does. He said: “We are the manufacturing part of the Norma Group and we specialise in clamping and connective products. We count among our clients many of the most prestigious names in the automotive industry, including BMW and Jaguar – all the top vehicle manufacturers will contain components designed and engineered here in Newbury.

Norma UK is thriving: in the eight years since Mike Lawrence (pictured above within Norma's modern factory) was appointed turnover has trebled and the company is still growing and always looking for the right kind of people to join over 200 employees based at New Greenham Park. The modern premises were purpose built two years ago; prior to that the company had been in Bone Lane, Newbury.

For those who like to support local businesses, remember in the DIY store to ask for either a Norma or Terry worm drive hose clip when the temptation is to use the seemingly generic term ‘Jubilee clip’. Norma and Terry clips, both made by Norma UK, outsell the rival ‘Jubilee’ brand, but people often call them by the wrong name!

Mike Lawrence is just one of the businessmen Morgan PR has been meeting for a forthcoming feature on New Greenham Park

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