Business & finance roundup

Cadbury’s announced it would be moving production of its famous Dairy Milk bar back “home” to Bournville, Birmingham from Germany after a £15m investment in new production facilities at the original site.

Louise Stigant, UK head of Cadbury’s parent company Mondelez, said: “At a time when manufacturing in the UK is facing significant challenges, it has never been more vital to secure the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of our business.”

A freedom of information request revealed 1,500 EU-based financial services companies have applied for permission to operate in Brexit Britain, with around 1,000 firms seeking to open their first office in the UK.

Mike Johnson of Bovill’s, who submitted the request, said the numbers are a “good indication that the UK financial services sector will continue to be in a strong position post-Brexit.”

The City of London was also buoyed by the strong response by the Governor of the Bank of England to tactics planned by the EU to strip the capital of its trillion-pound clearing industry, which he described as “dubious”, recommending the British Government “resist very firmly”.  

The new rules being cooked up by Brussels would see financial institutions operating in Britain faced with rules and penalties obliging them to move across the Channel.

“To get that by fiat would require something very controversial such as an attempt at extraterritorial legislation, or an attempt to force or cajole banks and dealers to say there will be some other penalty for you unless you move this clearing activity into the eurozone,” said Bailey.

Nissan committed to remaining in the UK after the UK secured a trade deal with the EU in late December. Not only that, output will expand after the Japanese car giant decided to set up battery production for its Leaf electric cars near its famous Sunderland factory, one of the most efficient car plants in Europe.

“We’ve decided to localise the manufacture of the 62kWh battery in Sunderland so that all our products qualify [for tariff-free export to the EU]. We are committed to Sunderland for the long term under the business conditions that have been agreed,” said Nissan’s CEO Ashwani Gupta.

Israeli, electric car start-up REE is investing £66 million in a new Engineering Centre of Excellence in Warwickshire.

“I’m excited to announce another major milestone for REE towards bringing our technology and products to the market as we expand our global footprint,” said REE’s co-founder Daniel Barel. “This new engineering centre is a state-of-the-art facility allowing us to accelerate our validation, verification and testing, as well as product homologation.”

Siemens awarded a £40 million tender to Leeds-based GMI Construction Group to build a new train manufacturing site at Goole, part of a wider £200 million investment in the region creating 700 jobs.  

“I am delighted to see the huge strides that have been made by Siemens Mobility since I visited their site in Goole last summer,” said Boris Johnson.

“As they develop the state-of-the-art rail facility, their commitment to invest in local suppliers boosting jobs and unlocking growth in Yorkshire – is a fantastic example of how we can level up across the country and build back better from the pandemic.”

Ellesmere port will be the location of a £600 million new facility producing fuel from non-recyclable waste. California-based group Fulcrum Bioenergy will own and operate the plant, while its partner, Indian conglomerate Essar, will mix the fuel with conventional jet fuel which it will distribute to airports around the UK.  

JCB has won a £26 million order for 525 machines from plant hire business, Ardent Hire Solutions.

“We are delighted that Ardent Hire Solutions has placed this substantial order with JCB given the very competitive nature of the UK equipment supply market. The size of the order shows enormous faith in the quality of JCB’s machines and also underlines the need to invest in new machinery to support the growth in the UK construction industry, which continues to recover strongly after the Covid-19 pandemic,” said JCB group managing director for global accounts, Steve Fox.