More than 60 representatives of Cornwall’s business community have attended the formal opening of ESAM, or the Enterprise Space for Advanced Manufacturing, the flagship development on St Austell’s Carluddon Technology Park.

The leader of one of Cornwall’s biggest engineering success stories praised the facilities at the brand new building, which is providing modern and flexible workspace targeted at advanced engineering and manufacturing businesses.

Richard Trevail, managing director of DP Engineering, spoke about how crucial it is for growing businesses to find fit-for-purpose business and office space.

Richard started his career in engineering 30 years ago on the site where ESAM now stands – a former china clay brownfield site, donated by Imerys and Eco-Bos, that has been given a new lease of life by the 32-unit industrial and office space building.

A former apprentice with English China Clay and Manufacturing Manager of Charlestown Engineering, Richard now leads David Paull Engineering in Redruth, which produces precision machine parts for the oil, gas and aerospace industries with clients including Boeing, Rolls Royce and Airbus. He recalled how the business was started in 1952 from a shed in Blackwater by founder, David Paull. It now employs around 40 people.

He said: “I lived and grew up here in St Austell, and spent time as an apprenticeship on this very site.

“This building is fantastic and exactly what the area needs.”

“People still think engineering is a “dirty” industry. It’s now incredibly high tech, with a focus on precision and quality. It’s amazing to think that parts made in Cornwall go into some of the most technically advanced and fuel efficient engines in the world.”

ESAM is built to BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standards and represents £8.9 million of capital investment with £6.2 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and £2.7 million from Cornwall Council. The Cornwall Council led project was designed by architects Poynton Bradbury Wynter Cole and built by Kier Construction Ltd with Ward Williams Associates acting as Project Managers. It is part of the infrastructure, alongside the A391 Caluddon diversion, that has been developed to support the forthcoming West Carclaze Garden Village.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was performed by Cllr Bob Egerton, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for Planning and Economy.

Cllr Egerton said: “This new workspace, situated in an area steeped in Cornwall’s industrial history, is now open for business. It has the potential to create up to 75 new jobs and secure significant benefits to the local economy by attracting businesses from Cornwall and beyond.

“Businesses and people working there will be able to draw inspiration from the quality of the new built environment that is being created and the spectacular landscape that surrounds them.

“I would encourage anyone in this sector, whether they have an established business or are looking to get a new project off the ground, to come and have a look at this new space and the potential it offers.”

Guest speaker Nigel Woodruff, part of The Innovation Partnership, brought a national perspective on the advanced manufacturing industry in the UK.

The sector is worth £168 billion to the UK economy, with more than 100,000 advanced manufacturing and engineering businesses, employing 2.7 million people.

He said: “This is a fantastic place, with a fantastic outlook. We have the building, we have the enthusiasm and we now need to create the opportunities for businesses to thrive and grow here.”

Mike King, managing director of Cornwall Development Company which has been appointed to manage the centre, said:

“This isn’t just a building. We are putting in place support to ensure the businesses that are based here grow and sell their products and services nationally and internationally.”

“People don’t appreciate the extent to which advanced manufacturing is delivering in Cornwall. ESAM will build on the success of the sector by further developing Cornwall as a centre of excellence for manufacturing.”

Mike King

Managing Director , Cornwall Development Company