Case Studies

Case Studies

Greater Birmingham is home to some of the world’s biggest names in advanced engineering with a number of companies locating their headquarters or significant operations in the area as part of their global footprint. This concentration gives both a breadth and depth with OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, leading independent consultancies and well developed supply chains supporting companies ranging from global players to specialist, niche SMEs. 


HydraForce Hydraulics was the first occupier to commit to the Advanced Manufacturing Hub in Aston 2014, with more than 500 staff now based at its 120,000 sq ft European headquarters.

Following confirmation of a £1.8 million grant from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund in June 2014, the company completed the deal with landowners, The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), and moved the entire business and staff to its new world class facility in August 2015.

HydraForce’s new building expanded its manufacturing facility by 70,000 sq ft and allowed the company to bring the manufacturing of more of its products over to the UK from its parent company in the United States.

HydraForce managing director, Peter Macdonald, said:

“The Advanced Manufacturing Hub is the ideal site for us. It is logistically well-placed and very close to our existing premises at St Stephen’s Street, Aston so it will be easier for our staff to move with us.

“Facilitated by the city council and supported by Business Birmingham, our decision to base our growing operation in the area has created local jobs and boosted the area’s manufacturing supply chain.”

The move saw HydraForce become the inaugural tenant of the Advanced Manufacturing Hub, one of six economic zones in the city. The zones: advanced manufacturing; business & professional services; creative & digital media; life sciences; food & drink; IT, electronics & communications (ITEC) will provide growth environments for key sectors.

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Global manufacturer Guhring, set up its new UK HQ in Birmingham following £12million worth of investment.

The German-owned company chose Birmingham’s Advanced Manufacturing Hub – a site specifically designed to support the region’s manufacturing and engineering sectors – as the location to expand its offering to global clients including BMW, JLR, Ford, Nissan, Airbus & BAE Systems.

The opening of the new HQ saw Guhring create 50 new jobs and safeguard a further 75. The firm has announced ambitious plans to double in size within its first five years at the new site.

Mike Dinsdale, former Managing Director of Guhring Ltd, commented:

“The UK was Guhring’s first location to create a subsidiary outside of Germany. Now the group has in excess of 70 similar production and service operations throughout the world. Creating a new facility in Birmingham is a major step towards meeting the company’s strategic focus to strengthen our global presence. Guhring’s new UK headquarters will allow the company to further expand both its manufacturing, regrinding and R&D offering and serve our global client-base.

“Birmingham’s engineering and manufacturing capabilities are world-class, and locating in the Advanced Manufacturing Hub will ensure we can easily access local supply chain networks, a wide pool of skilled engineers, and easily connect with target markets in the UK and internationally”.

The Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMH) is one of six Economic Zones in Birmingham established by Birmingham City Council. The site is designed to support new and expanding businesses by offering incentives such as simplified planning, gap funding and recruitment support.

Guhring represent the second foreign direct investment (FDI) project into the AMH, which has already attracted Hydraforce – a US hydraulics manufacturer, which opened a new 120,000 sq ft factory there last year.

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Bechtel, a global engineering, construction and project management firm, has opened a new office in Greater Birmingham that will act as a hub for business development. This office will allow the US-headquartered company, which employs 50,000 people worldwide, to expand as it pursues further projects across the region in the highways, rail, power, communications and aviation markets. 

One of the key reasons that Bechtel chose to invest in Greater Birmingham was the region’s involvement in major infrastructure projects. The company was already working closely with HS2 Ltd, which is based at Two Snowhill in Birmingham city centre, as well as Highways England and Network Rail. Having permanent staff located here has enabled Bechtel to develop its relationships with clients, stakeholders and the local supply chain. The West Midlands is the UK’s leading region when it comes to advanced engineering with over 150,000 employees, more than any other area.

Paul Gibbs, Bechtel’s Managing Director of UK Infrastructure, said:

“The move into our Waterloo Street offices allows us to be close to some of our key clients and stakeholders. Additionally, Business Birmingham spread the message of our move through its networks and the media.

“Across our two locations at Waterloo Street and Snowhill, we’re expecting to grow the team as we develop our relationships with important customers.

‘The regional business network includes a core of advanced manufacturing and engineering firms, many of which are accessible through the West Midlands Growth Company’s commercial partnership programme.”

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Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover is a British multinational automotive company that sells vehicles in almost 180 markets globally with 80% of production exported from the UK. With an advanced manufacturing plants in Solihull and Castle Bromwich, and an R&D facility in Gaydon, Warwickshire, Jaguar Land Rover employ over 25,000 people in the UK and 1,000 more globally and support 190,000 people through the supply chain, dealer network and wider economy. Jaguar Land Rover has invested £370 million in the Solihull facility to support the production of the all-new Range Rover. The all-new Range Rover is a good example of the kind of innovation that is being developed in the region – for example it is the world’s first SUV to feature an advanced all-aluminium body structure, delivering significantly reduced weight, improved performance and enhanced sustainability. 

Castle Bromwich produces the full range of Jaguar vehicles and boasts some of the most advanced aluminium body construction facilities in the world. Jaguar Land Rover has made a significant investment in the plant to prepare for the launch of the all-new Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe range in Spring 2014 which complements the ‘2013 World Car Design of the Year’ award-winning F-TYPE Convertible. To meet the demand for vehicles; Jaguar Land Rover invested £200 million in its Castle Bromwich plant and hired an additional 1,100 staff to support the launch of its new models.

Jaguar Land Rover is investing further in the region by building a new £500 million Engine Manufacturing Centre, which will build the new family of high-output, fuel-efficient petrol and diesel engines.

A further investment of £1.5 billion is being made to introduce an all-new technically-advanced aluminium vehicle architecture in forthcoming models and, to support this, 1,700 new jobs will be created in Solihull.