Leicester-based LB Foster to merge and relocate

L.B. Foster Europe, Middle East & Africa is consolidating its East Midlands-based industrial automation and materials handling businesses into a single design, manufacturing and production “Centre of Excellence” in Nottingham.

L.B. Foster Materials Handling in Leicester specialises in engineering solutions to move products from A to B in storage, distribution and manufacturing facilities. Its operations are relocating to recently acquired application engineering solutions business TEW Industrial Automation in Nottingham, creating L.B. Foster Automation.

L.B. Foster Automation’s new “Centre of Excellence” consolidates the two businesses’ operations into a single manufacturing and production capability in Nottingham, at the heart of the East Midlands manufacturing region.

Dr Martyn Paradise, former head of TEW Industrial Automation, has been appointed the new managing director of L.B. Foster Automation. Paradise said: “Both TEW Industrial Automation and L.B. Foster Materials Handling have proven track records within their respective markets, delivering solid performance and strong reputations for innovation and quality.

“With L.B. Foster Automation we are strengthening further our position in these markets. We are drawing on shared resources, expertise and market intelligence and focusing facilities to deliver sector leading engineering solutions and a new East Midlands-based manufacturing powerhouse.”

The Leicester operation will continue to operate at a low level until October 2016, at which point all manufacturing will move across to Nottingham.

Joint turnover of the industrial automation and materials handling businesses in 2014/15 was £8.5m. The company is seeking to drive sales to £10m in 2016.