HRH The Duke of York attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the new 2,400m² Watson-Marlow manufacturing facility today in Falmouth.
The prestigious visit came as a result of Watson-Marlow’s £7.3 million expansion. With its international operations based in Falmouth, the company is the largest manufacturer of tube and hose pumps in the world. Recently, it has seen annual sales soar past £25 million. Sales of its silicone tubing have increased by 25% in the last year alone. The visit by The Duke of York confirms the significance of Watson-Marlow’s continued growth and investment in the manufacturing industry, as it bucks the global economic trend.
In light of its potential to boost the regional economy, Watson-Marlow has also received substantial investment from the ERDF Convergence Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (£769,000) and the South West RDA (£256,000). This will help fund the new silicone tubing plant, which will be a low-carbon building, designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place on Tuesday 14 October in Falmouth. The Duke of York gave a short speech and was invited to ‘cut the first turf’ of the new building. Prior to the ceremony The Duke of York was also given a tour of the site’s existing operations. The Duke of York was invited to meet staff members during the tour, as well as assembled European country managers and guests from the South West RDA.
Christopher Gadsden, Managing Director of Watson-Marlow, commented: “This was a very significant day for us. Our staff were honoured to receive The Duke of York. The royal visit has been a great marker of Watson-Marlow’s contribution to the growth of Cornwall’s economy. Our expansion will include new jobs for the area, and we will continue to invest in research and development, in order to maintain our position as Europe’s number one positive displacement pump brand.”
Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Convergence Partnership Office for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, commented: “Watson-Marlow is a great example of European investment being used to support business growth and, as such, was an excellent choice as part of the Duke’s itinerary.”
Stephen Bohane, Head of Business Development for the South West RDA in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, commented: “Our role is to invest to unlock business potential and lead the development of a low carbon economy and this project meets both those aims. We’re delighted that work has started on the new tubing plant which will cement Watson-Marlow’s global reputation for quality and innovation, and create high value jobs in Falmouth.”