Last week BAE Systems announced the sale of the Scotswood Road site to the North East engineering company Reece Group and the move of its specialist engineering team nearby to Newburn by the end of 2013.
BAE Systems will continue to have manufacturing capability at Scotswoood Road site until completion of production of Terrier Vehicles for the British Army. BAE Systems plans to retain all equipment, Intellectual Property and engineering expertise required to satisfy future customer support requirements.
The unique specialist heavy armour engineering team which will transfer to Newburn at the end of 2013 will play an integral part in securing future defence contracts such as Challenger 2 Life Extension Programme as well as supporting through-life, vehicles in service with the British Army such as Titan, Trojan, Terrier and Challenger Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicle.
David Bond, Managing Director of Combat Vehicles (UK) says, “We will now consolidate our activities in Telford, Shropshire, with a satellite office in the North East in Newburn. We recognise that our engineering team has a unique skillset to support the British Army heavy armour fleet and so this new facility will play an important part in our company going forward”.
He continued, “We are on schedule to deliver the Terrier programme to the British Army which is one of the most complex engineering vehicles we have produced to date and we plan to complete manufacturing of all vehicles before we vacate the site.”
The Reece Group plans to grow its workforce during the next year, potentially creating opportunities for employment. BAE Systems remains committed to helping its employees seek alternative work when they leave the business.
John Reece, Chairman of Reece Group stated, “We are proud to continue the engineering and manufacturing legacy at Armstrong Works, on Scotswood Road. We will work with BAE Systems to ensure a timely transition of ownership on the site to ensure there is no disruption to any current programmes.”
Phil Kite, Chief Executive Officer of Reece Group and Non-Executive Director of the manufacturer’s organisation the EEF stated “We are pleased that BAE Systems selected the Reece Group to purchase the site. As well as good news for our business this is also good news for manufacturing in the North East. The strategy of the Reece Group is to create employment and wealth in the region and the acquisition of the Armstrong Works will enable us to build on our success in delivering on this goal.”
Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central added, “The iconic Scotswood Road site has a history of high skilled engineering going back generations and I am pleased that these vital skills will be maintained in Newcastle to the benefit of local communities and the region. The North East was built on engineering and manufacturing and I welcome this recognition by the Reece Group and BAE Systems that it is a critical part of our future too”
Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council also added, “I am delighted that the historic Scotswood Road site is to be occupied by another successful expanding North East business expressing renewed confidence in the city and a commitment to bringing much needed new jobs and growth.
“It is also very pleasing that unique specialist engineering skills will be kept alive in the city at BAE Systems’ Newburn site, maintaining the proud and longstanding legacy of the Armstrong Works on Scotswood Road.”
Photo above: Stephen Appleby, Head of Commercial & Procurement and David Bond, Managing Director Combat Vehicles (UK) of BAE Systems, John Reece, Chairman and Phil Kite, CEO of Reece Group
For more information, please contact:
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BAE Systems plc,
GU14 6YU, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384719