New era in Hardwicke for historic Gloucestershire firm Lister Petter
RELOCATING 200 skilled jobs to Hardwicke will mark a new era for a 145-year-old manufacturing firm.
Diesel engine maker Lister Petter is moving from Dursley to a purpose-built factory at the Quedgeley West Business Park in Hardwicke.
A planning application has just been submitted by developer St Modwen ahead of the move that has been welcomed by councillors.
The new 40,000sqft facility, 11 miles up the A38 from the current site, would open in spring 2014.
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Gloucestershire county councillor Tony Blackburn (C, North Stroud) said: "I hope this will be good news for Hardwicke.
"The employment opportunity is most certainly very welcome, especially considering all the new residents we have from the Kingsway and Hunts Grove developments."
Lister Petter Group chief executive Bryan Draper said: "We are committing £2million to the project.
"The move would allow us to retain our valued, skilled employees, create further job opportunities and continue our historic association with the county."
In its heyday around 1978, Lister employed some 3,400 people. The move to Hardwicke is a major boost to St Modwen's redevelopment of the former Ministry of Defence site, which is now home to firms such as Downtons, the distribution company.
It makes up part of the final phase of development at the estate.
While the move to Hardwicke has been welcomed there, in Dursley the company's departure has been met with understandable sadness.
Geoff Wheeler, leader of Stroud District Council, and district councillor for Dursley, said that it had been a difficult few years for the company and its employees.
He said: "I am pleased that we have been able to find a way forward.
"It's not ideal, as employees will have to travel further to work, but at least it's within the district."