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Innovative engineering firm to open Midlands manufacturing base

Lontra - supported by Innovate UK - projects annual sales of £45 million for its industrial compressor and 75 new jobs.

High-tech engineering company Lontra is to build a new manufacturing facility in Warwickshire for its innovative industrial compressors and create new jobs.

The first part of the factory will open later this year. It will complement the business’s research and development technology centre at Napton.

Up to £65 million will ultimately be invested in the new manufacturing facility, creating 75 new jobs by 2020 to more than double its workforce.

The project has been backed by Shield Group Engineering, one of the largest manufacturers in the UK, which has contracts to supply Caterpillar, Cummins, Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover and JCB.

Vote of confidence in UK manufacturing

Steve Lindsey, Chief Executive and Founder of Lontra, said:

This is a vote of confidence in Britain’s ability to manufacture at volume and high specification at globally competitive prices.

We’ve long led the world in innovative ideas. The spread of technology across prototyping and manufacturing means that Britain is perfectly placed to lead the fourth industrial revolution.

This is a new chapter for our business and we are delighted to be spearheading a new wave of precision manufacturing in the UK, and are committed to the Midlands where we believe that some of the world’s very best engineering minds can be found.

Lontra’s compressor offers big energy savings

The business developed its Blade Compressor® - a revolutionary new design for an air compressor - with the support of Innovate UK.

Compressors are used to pump air into sewage. They account for 1% of all UK electricity usage. In a trial with Severn Water, the Blade Compressor® led to energy savings of 21.2%.

It has been licensed to global pumping equipment business, Sulzer for use in the municipal and regulated wastewater sector. Aeration equipment incorporating the compressor will be sold in 150 countries.

Manufacture of the compressor for Sulzer will continue at a factory in Southern Ireland, while the factory in Warwickshire will manufacture compressors for new applications and markets.

Investment in innovation leads to growth

Innovate UK support for the development of the Blade Compressor came through a number of projects. This includes initial feasibility studies, development of a prototype, and investigating its use in industrial areas including power generation and food processing.

Simon Edmonds, Director - Manufacturing and Materials, Innovate UK, said:

This excellent news from Lontra is testament to the strengths of UK high-value manufacturing and in particular the West Midlands region. It illustrates how investing in innovation leads to jobs and growth for the UK economy.

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