Thu, 08 Nov 2018
The Prime Minister Theresa May visited Thatcham today to open a new facility at a "beacon of global Britain".
Mrs May spoke to staff and apprentices at Xtrac, which designs and manufactures high-performance transmissions for the motorsport and automotive industry manufactures.
The PM then toured and opened a new 117,000 sq ft facility at the company's base in Gables Way.
Xtrac supplies most of the world’s top motorsport teams, from MotoGP to Formula 1, and was subject to a multi-million pound buyout in October last year.
The media were not invited to the event, something that Newbury MP Richard Benyon said he was frustrated about.
Xtrac exports more than 75 per cent of its sales, including to Europe and the USA, where it has another facility.
But amid the uncertainty of Britain's exit from the European Union next year Mr Benyon said that the company's decision to expand in Thatcham was "very positive."
He said: "They are showing that they have a great belief in their production and workforce, and in the British economy.
"They spoke very warmly to the Prime Minister about the measures the government have taken about capital allowances and the government's industrial strategy, which they think is positive for companies such as theirs."
Mr Benyon said that Mrs May had enjoyed meeting staff, particularly the young apprentices and people who had joined the companies graduate scheme.
He said: "I got to welcome the Prime Minister to Thatcham and for her to see this superb British company, with its very positive view of the future from a manufacturing company that exports 75 per cent of what it makes, and is a world leading engineering company, to be increasing its factory size and to be so positive about the future is a great thing."
He said that Mrs May spoke of the company's "huge slice of the global market for transmission systems" and that it had a "great apprenticeship programme."
Mr Benyon said: "She seemed really upbeat by the really positive message she got from everyone involved, including some of the members of the workforce, and paid tribute to a company that's prepared to invest in the future as a beacon of global Britain."
Xtrac was subject to a buyout by funds managed by Inflexion Private Equity in October last year.
Inflexion, which invests equity of £10m to £150m, said it was backing Xtrac’s well-established management team, who would remain with the business.
See more on this story in next week's Newbury Weekly News.