Halifax firm wins local backing to try and attract American investment

An engineering company is being backed in its efforts to secure a £3 million investment at its Halifax factory.

Metaldyne, of Parkinson Lane, Halifax, is a worldwide centre of excellence for viscous dampers used in niche engine markets.

And, its parent company in the U.S. has to produce a new range of products for BMW’s next generation of engines.

But, Halifax, faces stiff competition from France and the Czech Republic.

The Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and both Calderdale MPs Craig Whittaker and Linda Riordan are now working together to win the investment.

A top level meeting is being planned in Westminster to secure some funding to help swing the deal for Calderdale.

Twenty jobs would initially be created but many more would be in the pipeline as the worldwide market for viscous dampers - a precision engineered part - becomes more in demand as car makers search for better fuel economy.

Halifax has the edge in skilled workers to run and support production lines and design and develop the product.

But, Metaldyne has a new factory in Lyon, France dedicated to BMW and the contract requires 250,000 viscous dampers per year from 2016 - but it has no experience of making viscous dampers.

At another factory in Oslavany, Czech Republic, government funding is available, but again the experience is lacking.

Chamber Head of Policy Steven Leigh said a little financial help for Halifax could be the determining factor and secure the long-term future of the company locally.

“This is an example of working together and putting politics aside for the common good,” he said.

“Halifax, Calderdale and Britain will benefit if we can attract the inward investment.”