JCB announces plans for 2,500 jobs
Industrial vehicle manufacturer JCB plans to create 2,500 new jobs as part of a £150m expansion of its business.
The firm is to build a factory in Uttoxeter, replacing one at Rugeley, and an excavator manufacturing plant in Cheadle.
It comes as Chancellor George Osborne visits JCB's world headquarters, a day after outlining his spending plans.
In a speech, he is expected to say that government infrastructure investment can drive UK economic growth.
Among the projects announced in his Autumn Statement was funding for a major road improvement project on the A50 through Uttoxeter.
The government's National Infrastructure Plan involves about £375bn of investment in energy, transport, communications, and water projects over the next two decades.
Mr Osborne will also congratulate JCB on reaching a key milestone in its history by selling its one millionth vehicle during the year.
He will be shown around the JCB site in Rocester by the company's chairman Lord Bamford, a major Conservative Party donor who became a Tory peer earlier this year.
Lord Bamford said: "The Chancellor's announcement of the major A50 road improvement project is good news for businesses in this area.
"It allows companies like JCB to plan ahead with confidence, knowing that the road network will not constrain business growth and future investment."
He added: "The chancellor's decision to invest in the regional infrastructure means JCB can continue to invest locally, which is good for Staffordshire and good for Britain, especially given the wider benefits to our UK supply chain."
JCB says it expects the projected growth in output from its Staffordshire factories will lead to an increase in production of components from its other UK sites, which include JCB Power Systems in Foston, Derbyshire, and JCB Transmissions in Wrexham.
The planned expansion, which is subject to planning consent, also includes an increase in JCB's production operations in Rocester and relocation of its finance and insurance divisions in Rocester to new offices at nearby Denstone.
As well as the creation of the new jobs by 2018, there will be a new in-house training facility for JCB staff, to be run in conjunction with universities to support apprenticeship and graduate training programmes.