The Black Country’s oldest chain makers are celebrating the news of a £5 million investment programme.
William Hackett Chains Limited in Cradley Heath, which dates back to 1892, has taken ownership of Bradney Chains Limited in Quarry Road, Dudley.
It is now creating the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for Chain Manufacture.
The move will safeguard 40 jobs.
Bosses have said that hope the programme will help protect the area’s long industrial heritage.
The multi-million pound investment will secure jobs at all of its factories and will allow the chain maker to develop new products and techniques, helping to increase its appeal to the wider market. Tim Burgess, managing director of William Hackett Chains said: “Over the last century we have seen a decline in the Black Country’s chain making industry.
“But the demand for quality chain products still exists.
“By innovating we have been able to compete to become one of the world’s leading suppliers of chain products.
“Taking on Bradney’s employees has brought a specific skill set to our company that is helping us innovate our current range of products to increase our global appeal.” The company produces chains for the lifting, lashing, marine, offshore oil, mining and agricultural markets around the world.
William Hackett has been continuously making chains at its site in Maypole Fields for 110 years and has expanded before, including the establishment of a division in Alnwick, Northumberland.
Richard Dowen at NatWest, who is supporting the investment programme said: “The West Midlands has a fantastic heritage in engineering and the investment programme which William Hackett Chains have commenced is helping to secure the future of jobs and the development of this critical UK based industry.”