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Jobs created as Optare moves to Sherburn in Elmet


11:05am 5th July 2011

Selby District Council's planners have given the go ahead for a development in Sherburn in Elmet which could bring new jobs to the area.

Bus manufacturer Optare plc is relocating its bus assembly operation from Leeds to Sherburn in Elmet's Enterprise Park and has received planning permission for alterations to the existing Hurricane Way building.

Work is well advanced in preparing the 140,000 square feet building with the company expecting to be operating from the site from late summer. Initially the plant will employ around 400 people who will move from Leeds but as the economy recovers and the company's growth continues, Optare is confident that a significant number of new jobs will be created for local people.

When fully operational the factory, which is the first new bus assembly plant to be opened in the UK for 40 years, will have a capacity to build up to 1,200 buses a year. These will be supplied to bus companies throughout the UK and a substantial proportion will also be exported to markets as far away as South Africa and New Zealand.

The council's backing for this scheme supports its long-term plan to bring in new jobs and investment to the Selby district.

Leader of the council councillor Mark Crane said:

"This news shines a light on the work that the council does to bring in new jobs to the district.

"Our officers have worked behind the scenes, alongside a number of local businesses, to develop the potential of our industrial sites.

"In particular this company liked this site because of the excellent regional transport links and good workforce," he added.

Optare Chief Executive Officer Jim Sumner added, "This location was chosen because it offered us exactly what we were looking for.

"In particular we were impressed by Sherburn's excellent transport links to all parts of the UK and to Hull docks for buses going into Continental markets. This will be our principal location in the UK and will provide a long-term base for our work in the Selby district."

As well as manufacturing conventional diesel engined buses, Optare is one of Europe's leading manufacturers of buses using 'green' technologies with products that include diesel-electric hybrids and buses using bio-methane from agricultural waste and landfill sites. It is also the only UK manufacturer of fully-electric, battery-powered buses.


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