Electromechanical engineering specialist Houghton International has agreed a game-changing deal with Siemens Energy which will see it take over the former blade manufacturing factory at the birthplace of the steam turbine, the CA Parsons Works in Heaton.
The 120,000sqft of world-class engineering space will be used to consolidate five of the company’s operational sites alongside its existing pump repair facility currently housed on the site, also creating significant room for further growth. The move represents a massive milestone for the company, which has experienced rapid growth over the past five years and will create a best in class facility from which to service its growing domestic and international customer base.
Positioning itself for future growth in emerging markets, the company also intends to retain its large machine facility on Shields Road adjacent to new workshop to service an increased demand for larger repairs from around the UK, providing a total combined footprint over 135,000sqft.
In a further coup, the factory will be named The Ronnie Mitten Works after one of the company’s founders, Ron Mitten, who’s technical legacy still brings work into the business each day, well over a decade after he sadly passed away in 2007.
Ron Mitten’s son, Michael Mitten, the current CEO of Houghton International, said: “I am truly delighted and equally honoured to be taking over such a prestigious site, and to be allowed to hoist my dad’s name above the door really is the cherry on the cake for me. I want to thank the team at Siemens Energy for having the confidence in us to take on the site and allowing us to name it after my dad. He’d be blown away by the notion that his name will be sat alongside that of Charles Parsons.
“I’m also delighted to be able to announce such an exciting phase in the company’s development, and some positive news for the North East. It’s a massive deal for us, one that cements our home for the next 25 years, and gives us one of the largest rotating electrical machine service centres in Western Europe. Now we need to fill it up with work. We envisage that we will be creating new jobs very soon, and will need great people to help us achieve our mission to be the best in the world at what we do.
“The expansion is a huge opportunity for Houghton International and is the result of many years of hard work to grow the business, our workforce and our customer base to get to this point. To do so at such a critical economic time means we’ll be perfect placed to take full advantage of the post-Covid economic boom that I’m certain will happen, especially in renewable energy and the shift towards the electrification of mass transportation.
“The consolidation will improve efficiency across the business, offer greater opportunities for training and cross skilling staff, enable us to adapt to changing market conditions faster and further improve the service we offer to customers.
“This is a huge step change for the business and the investment we are making now will further support Houghton International’s reputation as a market leader regionally, nationally and internationally.”
The move into the new site is currently underway with the aim of having the whole business relocated by the end of the year. Alongside providing extra space for Covid-19 physical distancing, the additional capacity created by the move will also enable the company to create dedicated R&D and training facilities, further investing in the future.
Specialising in electric motor repair, including the monitoring, maintenance and life extension of electromechanical assets around the world, Houghton International operates across a range of sectors including power generation, water, oil & gas, rail and industrial and manufacturing. The company has grown incrementally over the past 36 years.
Currently owned by Siemens Energy, the CA Parsons Works work site has been home to world class engineering since the start of the 20th century. Being co-located on the site alongside Siemens Energy presents an excellent opportunity for ongoing collaboration between two complementary companies to reinvest in the vacant facility and continue its strong heritage into the future.