45 years and still going strong, Gardner Denver celebrates great British manufacturing

Vacuum pump and compressor manufacturer, Gardner Denver has celebrated 45 years of great British manufacturing at its Redditch factory, with an open week for current and former employees, customers and local dignitaries.

Held last week at the company's state-of-the-art Centre of Excellence in Redditch, the event marked Gardner Denver's status as one of the few remaining manufacturers of air compressors in the UK, with local MP, Karen Lumley as well as Mayor of Redditch, Pattie Hill both joining in the celebrations.

The company is a major employer in the local area, with over 300 people currently working on site producing world-recognised products including Hydrovane, which has been produced on the site since the early 70s, together with the 160-year-old Belliss & Morcom brand and long-standing Reavell range.

Karen Lumley, MP for Redditch County who visited the site said, "I'm proud to be able to celebrate the continued success of a local manufacturing company here in the Midlands, a company with a worldwide export market supported by a strong local supply chain.

I'm also a big believer in apprenticeships and preparing young people for the world of work and companies like Gardner Denver, which are helping to create sustainable employment and encourage more young people in to a career in engineering, should be recognised for the positive contribution they are making to the economy."

redditch mayor on site
Redditch Mayor, Pattie Hill (3rd right) joins senior directors at Gardner Denver to celebrate 45 years on site
employees celebrate
Former employees joined in the fun to celebrate almost half a century of compressor manufacturing in Redditch

Commenting on the apprentice scheme, Ben Sweet, who has just completed his four-year apprenticeship with Belliss & Morcom added, 
"Taking up an apprenticeship means you can get ahead while you're working and I'm always learning something new. Working in engineering means no two days are the same and you benefit from the experience of those around you."

Visitors to the open week had the chance to meet former and existing employees, including the company's latest intake of graduates and apprentices. A factory tour was also on offer where people witnessed first hand how the company's compressors are manufactured and saw two brand new machines, launched specially for the event - the high-pressure WH35 PET bottle-blowing machine for food and beverage customers and the Hydrovane air solution for industrial air applications.

Commenting on the open week, Colin Mander, Regional Director for Gardner Denver, said:

"The open week enabled us to celebrate our long history of manufacturing air compressors here in Redditch; a site that's rich in engineering heritage.

"We've witnessed many changes since the site opened in the 1970s and many engineering firsts, including the world's first vertical compressor design, the development of machines that run without the need for lubricating oil and a wide range of energy-saving innovations.

"The event offered former employees the chance to see how our products have developed over the years, while customers, the press and local dignitaries learned more about how we continue to manufacture innovative products for sale here in the UK and overseas."

Gardner Denver provides a complete range of vacuum and pressure solutions for customers across industry, including Hydrovane, the Belliss & Morcom and Reavell high-pressure brands, CompAir compressors and Elmo Rietschle and Robuschi vacuum and pressure products.