£18million investment creates more than 80 new jobs

June 28, 2022

A combined £18million investment by three separate foreign-owned companies in Herefordshire will create more than 80 new jobs across the county – thanks to support from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership.

The three companies – CEJN, Orchard Valley Food Group and Xtratherm – are all expanding after investing in new sites or equipment with help from the Marches LEP’s Key Account Management (KAM) programme.

The programme – delivered in partnership with Herefordshire Council’s business growth and inward investment team and the Department for International Trade – helps foreign-owned companies grow their operations effectively by providing expert advice and support.

The latest success stories for the programme include:

  • Xtratherm: The Belgian-owned thermal insulation manufacturer is creating a new manufacturing site at Ross-on-Wye as well investing in new plant and staff training, in a move which will create 45 new jobs. It has been supported by Herefordshire Council through the KAM programme with local intelligence, planning and highway advice and background information.
  • Orchard Valley Food Group: Orchard Valley, which is owned by Norwegian company Orkla, has expanded its site at Leominster to allow its packing operations to be transferred from Tenbury. The move will create 35 new jobs in Leominster and has been supported by Herefordshire Council advice on economic development and planning.
  • CEJN: Swedish-owned CEJN, which operates from the Three Elms Trading Estate in Hereford, develops, manufactures and markets quick connect couplings and accessories.  It has invested in a new lean lift storage system to improve efficiency and productivity at its UK base and created two new jobs.

Under the KAM programme, companies are given a designated account manager and can receive free market intelligence, business growth advice, support with expansion and energy efficiency, supply chain information and access to events and networking opportunities.

Help is also available to companies looking to relocate to the Marches, link up with the LEP’s business support service the Marches Growth Hub, and also gain access to DIT, Midlands Engine, local authority and Marches sector specialists.

Mountain Perspective director Jon Johnson, who worked as a KAM project manager for the LEP with all three companies, said the investments showed the huge value that the programme could bring across the Marches.

“Supporting all three businesses through the Key Account Management process has given the local authority a real insight into the investments that are being made through foreign direct investments in Herefordshire.

“A great wealth of knowledge from local experts has supported the businesses, all of which are growing the local economy and creating new jobs. The KAM programme has been a win, win for all involved.”

Marches LEP chair Mandy Thorn MBE said the success of the KAM programme showed the impact that partnership working and building long-term relationships with businesses could bring in terms of jobs and prosperity.

“Through our proactive account management programme, we have built up excellent working relationships with many internationally-owned businesses across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

“Our support, delivered through our partners at the three local authorities and DIT, has helped many of them to expand, relocate, invest in research and development and upskill their workforce.

“The results are clear to see from these three Herefordshire success stories. We have been able to support the delivery of new investment, new jobs and new skills to the area which can only help build a more prosperous economy for all of us.”

Companies across the Marches seeking to take advantage of the KAM programme should contact jon.johnson@marcheslep.org.uk

Details of how the programme can help companies throughout the Marches are available at https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/support/key-account-management-department-for-international-trade/

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk | email: enquiries@marchesgrowthhub.co.uk.

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: www.marchescareershub.co.uk | email: info@marchescareershub.co.uk

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact: gary.spence@shropshire.gov.uk

For any finance queries please contact: michelle.hodgkiss@shropshire.gov.uk

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact: Camilla.Mulholland@evelyn.com

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