Business Minister Andrew Stephenson MP today opened a ‘factory of the future’ at Congleton-based Senior Aerospace Bird Bellows.
The new facility will expand the company’s capacity to design and manufacture precision engineered components predominantly for civil aircraft.
Accompanied by Congleton MP Fiona Bruce, the Minister met with apprentices and heard how Senior Aerospace Bird Bellows has improved productivity and expanded sales since being selected for the government-backed aerospace competitiveness programme Sharing in Growth.
Said Andrew Stephenson: “I was delighted to visit Senior Aerospace Bird Bellows today and see first-hand how this thriving UK company manufactures and designs crucial metal components for aircraft.
“The support they have received from the Government-backed Sharing in Growth programme has helped the company to boost its sales and productivity.
“Companies like Bird Bellows are a clear demonstration of how the UK is, and can continue to be, a world-leader in aerospace – backed all the way by our modern Industrial Strategy.”
Senior Aerospace Bird Bellows, which employs around 270 people at its Congleton plant, is a leading designer and manufacturer of precision engineered components such as metallic bellows for industrial fluid control and aerospace applications.
The company was selected for the Sharing in Growth productivity and competitiveness programme in 2017. Its ambition is to grow significantly over the next 10 years, by increasing efficiency and improving its delivery and quality performance to customers.
The Senior Aerospace Bird Bellows team is receiving specialist training and coaching through Sharing in Growth which is helping to develop a high performing team culture and to roll out global best practice across its business functions.
As a result, the company is working with key customers to develop next generation products and has ambitions to achieve significant growth in sales over the next five years. The building opened today by the Minister, is coming on stream as its ‘factory of the future,’ built on lean principles using the Senior Operating System approach in conjunction with Sharing in Growth.
Said John Stewart, Senior Aerospace Bird Bellows CEO: “As a growing company, we know the importance of investing in the future. Not only are we developing our capability and capacity with support from Sharing in Growth, we also recruit and train several apprentices each year. There are currently some 30 former apprentices working with us, some in key leadership roles.”
Andy Page, CEO of Sharing in Growth, said: “We were delighted that the Minister took such a keen interest in Sharing in Growth and saw at first hand the positive impact of the programme on one of our 60 beneficiaries. To date, SiG has helped companies to secure around £4 billion in contracts and 7,000 jobs.”
A not-for-profit organisation set up by industry in 2013, Sharing in Growth is supported by the Regional Growth Fund and by more than £150 million in private investment. Each company participates in a bespoke and intense training and business transformation programme which focuses on leadership, culture and operational capability delivered by SiG’s own 100 strong team of business coaches as well as a bank of world-leading experts including The University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing, Deloitte, Industry Forum and the National Physical Laboratory.
Companies interested in joining the Sharing in Growth programme should visit www.sig-uk.org/apply.