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Tuesday, 07 July 2015

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£1.5m expansion and new jobs at Cockermouth factory

A Cockermouth company plans to spend £1.5 million this year to help it expand.

James Walker: The Material Technology Centre

James Walker, which produces seals and gaskets, employs 480 people and has advertised a selection of jobs available at its Gote Road site.

Mark Brook, supply chain director, said: “We are restructuring and expanding the business to support growth in the industry.

“We have about 49 vacancies, most of which will be filled internally but a number of which will be filled externally.

“We anticipate more vacancies in the future as we are in the process of buying new presses.”

The company, which opened in 1969, plans to spend £1.5million on new equipment this year and is looking at further investment next year.

The company services a whole range of industries, including oil, gas, nuclear and wind turbines.

Over 60 per cent of its products are sold globally, and it also has close links with Sellafield.

Two areas of growth are oil and gas in Brazil and wind turbines in China.

Mr Brook said: “Operationally it’s a challenge to contain growth within the limitations of the space on site, we are pretty full. But it’s good because we are growing.”

The site will be able to accommodate future growth with some infrastructure changes.

The company has taken on eight apprentices in the last three years.

Alison Cunningham, human resources manager, said: “Most of our employees are local and we want to encourage that. We have strong links with local schools and also training organisation Gen2.

“There are some real opportunities for our existing employees to develop and learn new skills, and take on more responsibilities in some cases.”

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