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17th February 2021
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Port Talbot firm British Rototherm creating 250 new jobs with new PPE partnership

Port Talbot manufacturer British Rototherm Group is creating 250 new jobs in a new partnership agreement with the world’s leading personal protective equipment (PPE) safety eyewear specialist.

The tie up sees Rototherm’s  medical and protective equipment division RotoMedical, becoming Bollé Safety’s exclusive UK manufacturer of PPE eyewear for the healthcare industry.

RotoMedical will produce over three million PPE items each month.

Production will be based at Rototherm’s existing factory at Kenfig Hill Industrial Estate, utilising existing manufacturing capacity.

The maker of industrial measuring instruments, which dates back to the 1880s, pivoted during the pandemic to also produce medical masks and protective face shields equipment for health and care workers.

It has now added safety goggles with the supply contract with Bollé for which it will create a dedicated automated production line.

With PPE contracts for masks and face shields at one stage last year Rototherm, through temporary employment, had seen its workforce swell to 400.

It now employs around 200, with the Bollé  contract alone creating 250 new permanent roles over the next three years.

The company is also bidding for a series of UK and European government contracts for its PPE range, which could create more employment opportunities, as well as through the expansion of its instrumentation division.

The Bollé face shields and goggles manufactured by RotoMedical will use locally sourced raw materials.

As well as for the UK and Ireland marketplace, they will also be  exported to a number of other key global markets for the company.

British Rototherm managing director Oliver Conger said: “The last year has seen Port Talbot emerge as a sustainable manufacturing base for PPE and we are delighted that Bollé will add specialist PPE eyewear expertise.

“Like Bollé, Rototherm has a strong heritage dating back to the 1800s and a reputation for quality, industrial expertise, and innovation.  We’re excited about this partnership and the synergies it will bring.

“Our ambition is that over 250 new jobs will be created in Rototherm’s base in Margam over the next three years based on supply contracts on our horizon.

“Building on this success, there is the potential that this partnership could create even more jobs exporting high quality, innovative healthcare PPE eyewear across Great Britain, Europe and further afield. ”

Ian Walbeoff, vice president of sales at Bollé Safety said: “At the core of all that we do is an ambition to create protective eyewear that delivers greater everyday comfort, ergonomics and safety for those that need it most.

“Having worked across the UK and Ireland for the past 30 years I can say that today’s announcement is a new step for us and one that I am very proud to play a part in.

“We have a proud history providing PPE across the UK for South Wales Fire & Rescue, the UK border Force, The Royal Mint, Thames Valley Police and many leading companies like Western Power Distribution, Valero Energy and Cabot Carbon.

“We have now found a way to bring the best of what we do internationally at Bollé Safety to Port Talbot, creating jobs and making world class products that will genuinely save lives across the globe.”

Peter Smith, chief executive of Bollé  Brands Group and president of Bollé Safety said: “Today’s announcement is another chapter in our UK story which goes back to 1964 when we sold our first safety goggles here.

“We take great pride in playing our part in protecting British manufacturing and healthcare workers and we are equally proud that going forward we will have ‘made in Britain” emblazoned on some of Bollé Safety’s most innovative new products.

Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters said: “Since the beginning of the pandemic we have seen our businesses step up to the challenge of helping us produce much-needed PPE right here in Wales.

“It’s great news that an international company like Bollé is working with a Welsh business to make vitally important items for those on the front line of health services, not just here in the UK but across the world.

“This is a testament to the skilled manufacturing workforce we have here in Wales, and I very much welcome this announcement at what remains an incredibly difficult time for our people, our businesses and our economy.”

Robert Lloyd Griffiths, director of the IoD in Wales said: “Today’s announcement by Bollé Safety and RotoMedical is excellent news for our economy and a great vote of confidence in the people of Port Talbot and the surrounding area who will no doubt welcome the opportunity of 250 much-needed new jobs in this important sector.

” It is a clear signal of what Wales has to offer as we focus on rebuilding our economy and creating jobs in the wake of the pandemic. We wish the new partnership between Bollé Safety and RotoMedical every success.”

Ian Price, director Wales, CBI said: “With the Welsh economy suffering significantly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s great to hear news of companies making investments and committing to creating local jobs. Wales remains a great place to live, work and invest.”