Guardian's investment, which will occur in phases and include float glass operations followed by the addition of value-added glass fabrication processes, will total more than 115 million pounds sterling and create about 300 jobs.
"Guardian has a twenty-year history of successful European business operations, including supplying a large customer base in England," said Ralph J. Gerson, Guardian's executive vice president. "With major manufacturing facilities in five European countries, we provide innovative coatings, high quality float, tempered and laminated glass, mirrors and automotive products. Our new plant in England will allow us to better serve our existing customers and grow our business."
After an extensive search in continental Europe and the United Kingdom, Guardian chose the Goole site for a variety of reasons, including excellent road and rail connections that facilitate efficient delivery to Guardian's customer base and a strong desire by customers to have this kind of facility nearby.
The support of national and local government officials was also instrumental in Guardian's decision. "Yorkshire Forward, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Goole Town Council and Ian Cawsey, Member of Parliament, assisted greatly with planning and infrastructure issues," said Gerson. "This was an extremely complex process that was facilitated by a variety of different agencies and we are grateful for their collaboration."
Yorkshire Forward Chairman Graham Hall said, "Yorkshire and Humber continue to lead the way in attracting quality, high technology investment despite the global economic slowdown. Guardian's investment delivers high quality jobs and kick starts a major development which will be a key factor in the success of the region."
Guardian's new, state of the art facility will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, producing some 700 tons of float glass daily for the commercial and residential construction industries. Construction of Guardian's 22nd float glass facility is expected to begin later this year, with production planned to start in early 2004.
Today's announcement was formalised by the signing of the Development Agreement confirming construction responsibilities of Guardian and Yorkshire Forward, the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Development Agency.
Guardian Industries Corp., based in Auburn Hills, Mich., is a leading worldwide manufacturer of float glass and fabricated glass products for the commercial and residential construction industries, and is the world's largest producer of mirrors. Guardian's Automotive Products Group provides complete exterior systems to the global automotive industry and was named one of the Top 100 Global Automotive Suppliers. Guardian's Building Products Group includes one of the largest manufacturers of fiberglass in the world and occupies a significant and growing position in the building materials distribution business. Guardian, its subsidiaries and affiliates employ 19,000 people and operate facilities throughout North America, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.