Multi-million pound centre to be built at Assa Abloy in Willenhall
Plans for a £3 million ‘innovation centre’ at lock maker Assa Abloy’s base in Willenhall have been given the green light by council bosses.
Walsall Council chiefs have hailed the news as another boost for the town just days after a new Home Bargains store opened at the Keyway Retail Park.
Around 600 people currently work at the site, half of Assa Abloy’s 1,200-strong UK workforce.
The firm has sales of £6.4 billion around the world. In the UK it is best known for its Yale and Union locks and keys.
Bosses said the new centre will ‘showcase the company’s extensive investment and development of digital products as well as providing much-needed space for research and development’.
The Innovation Centre is now set to become the focal point of the Portobello site. Unveiling the plans last year, Assa Abloy UK managing director Neil Vann said: “I’m very pleased to announce such a positive investment in our future and a significant commitment to our premises here at Portobello.
“Over the years we have made important improvements in our manufacturing capabilities allowing us to stay at the forefront of product development but this is one of the largest commitments we have made to the infrastructure of the site, and we believe the renovation will benefit all who work here, as well as the local residents.
“We have a rich heritage here in Willenhall, as well as a proud reputation as a key employer and this investment is designed to make sure that this is continued for years to come. The introduction of the Innovation Centre also reflects our future-thinking and the desire to make sure that as a manufacturer we are leading product innovation and ensuring we can provide opportunities in this area for the next generation of employees.”
The plan will see refurbishment inside and out at the Portobello site, which Assa Abloy says is ‘designed to reflect the modern methods of manufacturing used’.