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Yaskawa moves UK HQ to EV hotspot in Sunderland

11 December, 2023

Yaskawa, the Japanese manufacturer of drives, motion controls and robotics, is moving to a new 35,000ft2 (3,250m2) UK headquarters and manufacturing facility in Sunderland. The site, at Hillthorn Park, is next to Nissan UK and the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP).

A key motivator for choosing the site has been the presence of electric and hybrid vehicle manufacturers in the area.

“Being close to customers is extremely important to us and this move binds perfectly with that, putting us right at the heart of one of the UK’s largest manufacturing clusters and some of the biggest names in EV development and production,” says Yaskawa UK’s managing director, David Walsh.

“We also have plans to continue growing our headcount over the course of the next year and this will give us the space required to enable that, as well as ensuring we can continue to tap into the region’s rich talent pool of skilled workers.

“As a newly built facility, it is far more environmentally friendly than our previous sites,” Walsh adds. “It’s a real vote of confidence from our HQ for our business plans not only in the North East but the UK as a whole, and we can’t wait until next Spring when we can move in.”

Yaskawa has been supported in its move by the Business Investment Team at Sunderland City Council.

David Walsh, managing director at Yaskawa UK (right) with Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, outside the company’s new UK HQ building

Yaskawa currently manufactures drives and motion products in Cumbernauld, Scotland while 80% of its robots for the European market are produced at a plant in Slovenia. Yaskawa’s UK headquarters were previously in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

Yaskawa, which was founded in 1915, has shipped more than 33 million AC drives, 25 million servodrives and motors, and more than half a million industrial robots around the globe.

The £60m Hillthorn Park business park is being developed by Legal & General and has received a £2.5m investment from government’s Getting Building Fund. Once complete, the site, which is also being supported by funding from North East LEP and the European Regional Development Fund, will consist of 11 commercial buildings offering 620,000ft2 (57,600m2) of industrial space.

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