A major Wigan employer has secured a £15m financial boost from their Japanese parent company - and topped it with a religious blessing.
In 2016, Electric Glass Fiber UK Ltd, was acquired by Nippon Electric Glass, which has demonstrated its commitment to the Hindley-based firm for the next decade by investing millions into its plant.
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The fibre glass manufacturer has more than 300 employees and the primary end use of the fibre glass it creates is in wind turbine blades and replacing the steel in vehicles, trains and planes to increase fuel efficiency.
A symbolic furnace-lighting event took place with the executive vice-president of NEG, Hirokazu Takuechi, flying over from Japan to perform the ceremony.
Wigan Council leader Coun David Molyneux, borough mayor Coun Susan Greensmith and former leader Lord Smith also attended and congratulated the companies on their milestone.
Brian Stewart, managing director of Electric Glass Fiber UK and member of the borough’s Forward Board, said: “We’re thankful for this investment, which will help us provide a more environmentally friendly manufacturing footprint and provide continued employment security for more than 300 employees. We’re committed to providing an impeccable service and now look forward to a bright future with NEG.
“NEG is an international glass manufacturing company who pride themselves on uncovering the unlimited possibilities of glass for more advanced creative manufacturing.”
The furnace lighting ceremony incorporated traditional Japanese Shinto and Christian traditions and was a celebration of a new future with Electric Glass Fiber UK.
Fr Owen Edwards led a pastoral prayer for good production and business and a purification ceremony by Mr Takeuchi also took place.
Coun Molyneux said: “We’re committed to supporting businesses in Wigan borough to flourish so it’s fantastic news that Electric Glass Fiber UK has secured this investment, which will go towards further company upgrades. Brian and his team will be able to make some positive improvements to their manufacturing process, which will in turn, benefit the local economy and area.”