Global robotics giant commits to UK opening a state-of-the-art headquarters in Sunderland

Yaskawa – a global technology supplier in segments drives, motion controls and robotics - is opening a new, state-of-the-art UK headquarters and manufacturing facility in Sunderland.

The company is opening a 35,000sq ft facility at Hillthorn Park adjacent to Nissan UK and the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP).

The new UK headquarters mark a continuation of the company’s ambitious expansion strategy in Europe. Yaskawa Electric Corporation founded in Japan in 1915, is consciously following the trend towards building up technology know-how and production competence in Europe.

The drives and motion products are manufactured in Cumbernauld, Scotland while 80 per cent of the European robot demands are produced in the European robot plant at Kočevje in Slovenia. Yaskawa has shipped more than 33 Mio AC Drives, 25 Mio Servo Drives and Motors and over half a million industrial robots across the globe, thousands of which are deployed in the UK.

One of the industries the company has seen present new opportunities for growth over recent years however is the electric and hybrid vehicles sector, which was a key motivator when moving to Hillthorn Park.

David Walsh, Managing Director at Yaskawa UK Ltd, said: “We continue to see positive growth and investment changes across our European organisation which includes the continued desire to invest in the growing opportunities for UK markets in the robotics, drives and motion control industries we work in.

“So, it really is a huge vote of confidence in the UK and our new location in the North East is a huge driver for major industrial investment and opportunities to help shape, create and contribute to innovative automation solutions for several industries such as Automotive, Food and Beverage, Logistics, Packaging, Manufacturing, Wood and Metal working, etc.

“As a business, being close to customers is extremely important to us and this move binds perfectly with that, putting us right at the heart of one of the UK’s largest manufacturing clusters and some of the biggest names in EV development and production.

“We also have plans to continue growing our headcount over the course of the next year and this will give us the space required to enable that, as well as ensuring we can continue to tap into the region’s rich talent pool of skilled workers.”

Situated just a short drive from the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) and within an hour’s drive from Newcastle International Airport, the £60million business park is being developed by Legal & General.

Once complete, the site, supported by funding from central government, the North East LEP and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – will deliver 620,000sq ft of prime industrial space in Washington, with 11 commercial buildings ranging in size from 21,550 – 124,250 sq ft.

“Globally, we’re committed to becoming a more sustainable business and futureproofing our operations and the move to Hillthorn Park is a perfect example of that,” he added. “As a newly built facility, it is far more environmentally friendly than our previous sites and

“It’s a real vote of confidence from our HQ for our business plans not only in the North East but the UK as a whole, and we can’t wait until next Spring when we can move in. It’s a really exciting time for the business.”

By Mark Adair – Correspondent, Bdaily

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