Since the 2008 housing slump, a number of cities and towns around the UK (and, indeed, across the globe) have found it a challenge to get back to their full economic strength – regardless of the fact that the nation has been out of recession for arguably over two years. In Staffordshire, however, a town which has been struggling with its local economy, is about to receive a massive boost from JCB, who plan to create 2,500 new jobs with investment which has received the government’s backing.
JCB Record Profits
In 2008, JCB, one of the world’s largest commercial vehicle companies felt the effects of the economic downturn across its global operations. However, in 2012, the company reported record profit levels of £365m – an increase of £10m on 2011. These significant profit margins are allowing the company to expand its global effort over the coming years, with the development of a new £63m manufacturing factory in Brazil, and another factory in India – a response to a 12% profit increase in the Middle East region. Similarly, the company has been able to drive its employment levels back to pre-recession numbers, and has taken on 500 new workers over recent months. More recently, however, JCB has announced a large, £150m investment into the economy of Staffordshire.
JCB has announced that the £150m investment will come in the form of 2,500 new jobs over the coming years. The jobs will be primarily focussed around to new factories – one which will lie in Uttoxeter and Cheadle – and there will also be a significant investment and development to JCB’s existing Rocester headquarters. These investments have been backed by Chancellor George Osborne, who visited the headquarters to help announce the news, as well as to show the government’s support for the project.
This level of investment in such a large, global corporation is surely significant for not only JCB’s business, but for the local communities in Staffordshire. Staffordshire is a market territory, and has suffered greatly during and throughout the tail of the recession, as a result of fewer people in employment to fund the market economies of the towns and villages which make up the area, but now, the number of employed people and the money they own is set to increase. So are JCB doing this purely out of selfishness?
Government Infrastructure Spending
It appears as though JCB’s contribution to the local economy is being backed and bolstered by Governmental commitment to develop on the local infrastructure in the Staffordshire area. For example, the Chancellor announced funding for a large road improvement on the A50, which runs through Uttoxeter. This comes as part of the government’s announcement to generate £375bn-worth of national infrastructure in energy, transport, communications and water over the following two decades.
Ultimately, JCB’s £150m spending in Staffordshire is sure to help the struggling towns which make up the region, restoring the thriving market economy it once had before the economic crash. With the government’s backing and support, there’s no doubt that this is certain to be the decade of growth in and around Staffordshire.