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Thursday, 10 July 2014

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Up to 40 new jobs as Pirelli invests in 'green' tyres at Carlisle factory

Nearly 40 new jobs will be created at the Carlisle Pirelli factory after bosses confirmed a recession-busting total investment of £20 million.

Alan Wilson photo
Alan Wilson

A range of highly specialist “lap top and lab coat” positions will be on offer at the Dalston Road plant along with an as yet unknown number of blue collar industrial roles on the factory floor.

They will be helping to create a new eco-tyre for some of the world’s most luxurious car brands.

The new tyre will be made in a greener way and offer better environmental performance.

The jobs boost was confirmed yesterday by Alan Wilson, the delighted Carlisle-born-and-bred engineering manager who has been with the company for 33 years.

Mr Wilson said: “This is by far the biggest significant investment we have had in many, many years.

“I am delighted Pirelli have given permission for this level of investment.”

He said the finer details of the new roles were still being worked on.

But he did say while it was “often difficult to get the highly-skilled electrical technicians we need from Cumbria”, the company would be “looking to recruit locally where we can”.

The £20 million announcement is likely to see some funds head to its Burton On Trent operations in Staffordshire but the bulk going on investment into Carlisle.

Mr Wilson was speaking as he led John Longworth, the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, around the Carlisle factory.

Mr Longworth was accompanied by Rob Johnston, head of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, in Lowther Street, Carlisle.

The pair were invited to the a tour following the unique behind-the-scenes role the Cumbria Chamber had in a successful £2 million Government funding bid for Pirelli.

This was submitted by the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership and the agreement was pivotal in levering £18 million of total investment into the UK from Pirelli’s Milan-based parent. Pirelli employs 850 people in Carlisle and 350 in Burton, Staffs.

The money will go on funding highly specialist new machinery and positions in Carlisle.

Pirelli positions are likely to be highly sought after. Interest in Pirelli's apprenticeships has grown from around 60 applications a year to 130.

Mr Longworth, the most senior figure in British Chambers of Commerce who recently met with chancellor George Osborne, and regularly meets with high-ranking ministers, said he would help put Carlisle’s work on the map as a place for companies to invest. Mr Longworth said: “This is a very good example of hidden Britain.

“Here’s a high-knowledge research and development and manufacturing enterprise in Carlisle, Cumbria, and I’ll bet many people don’t even know it exists.

He added: “Inward investment of this kind is very important and Pirelli are a really good example of a company making a commitment to the UK, creating wealth and jobs.

“This is good for the UK, good for growth and good for the environment.”

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