Photo by Tiago Aguiar

A combined £18 million investment by three separate foreign-owned companies in Herefordshire will create more than 80 new jobs across the county – thanks to support from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership.

The three companies – CEJN, Orchard Valley Food Group and Xtratherm – are all expanding after investing in new sites or equipment with help from the Marches LEP’s Key Account Management (KAM) programme.

The programme – delivered in partnership with Herefordshire Council’s business growth and inward investment team and the Department for International Trade – helps foreign-owned companies grow their operations effectively by providing expert advice and support.

The latest success stories for the programme include:

  • Xtratherm: The Belgian-owned thermal insulation manufacturer is creating a new manufacturing site at Ross-on-Wye as well investing in new plant and staff training, in a move which will create 45 new jobs. It has been supported by Herefordshire Council through the KAM programme with local intelligence, planning and highway advice and background information.
  • Orchard Valley Food Group: Orchard Valley, which is owned by Norwegian company Orkla, has expanded its site at Leominster to allow its packing operations to be transferred from Tenbury. The move will create 35 new jobs in Leominster and has been supported by Herefordshire Council advice on economic development and planning.

CEJN: Swedish-owned CEJN, which operates from the Three Elms Trading Estate in Hereford, develops, manufactures and markets quick connect couplings and accessories.  It has invested in a new lean lift storage system to improve efficiency and productivity at its UK base and created two new jobs.
Under the KAM programme, companies are given a designated account manager and can receive free market intelligence, business growth advice, support with expansion and energy efficiency, supply chain information and access to events and networking opportunities.

Help is also available to companies looking to relocate to the Marches, link up with the LEP’s business support service the Marches Growth Hub, and also gain access to DIT, Midlands Engine, local authority and Marches sector specialists.

Mountain Perspective director Jon Johnson, who worked as a KAM project manager for the LEP with all three companies, said the investments showed the huge value that the programme could bring across the Marches.

“Supporting all three businesses through the Key Account Management process has given the local authority a real insight into the investments that are being made through foreign direct investments in Herefordshire.

“A great wealth of knowledge from local experts has supported the businesses, all of which are growing the local economy and creating new jobs. The KAM programme has been a win, win for all involved.”

Marches LEP chair Mandy Thorn MBE said the success of the KAM programme showed the impact that partnership working and building long-term relationships with businesses could bring in terms of jobs and prosperity.

“Through our proactive account management programme, we have built up excellent working relationships with many internationally-owned businesses across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

“Our support, delivered through our partners at the three local authorities and DIT, has helped many of them to expand, relocate, invest in research and development and upskill their workforce.

“The results are clear to see from these three Herefordshire success stories. We have been able to support the delivery of new investment, new jobs and new skills to the area which can only help build a more prosperous economy for all of us.”