News in Brief

Prize for bug busters

Kentinental Engineering received the Confederation of British Industry’s Year 2000 Award this month for investing in millennium bug solutions. The 280-employee Kent firm spent £250,000 and set up a three-strong team to manage the programme.

MBO for steelworks

Sunderland’s Steels Engineering has been acquired by its management from German engineering group Deutsche Babcock for an undisclosed sum. Richard Maudslay, former managing director of Rolls-Royce Industrial Power Group, will be the company’s non-executive chairman.

Roke expands

Siemens is to invest £6.5m in its telecommunications research and development company Roke Manor Research, creating 150 jobs. Roke Manor employs 370 people in Romsey, Hampshire, and has a turnover of £23m.

Lobbyists unite

Eight European national packaging machinery associations have formed an alliance to work on issues including representation to the European Commission and exports. Andrew Manly of the UK’s Processing and Packaging Machinery Association is the first secretary-general of the new body, Europama. The presidency is also held in the UK by current PPMA president, Colin Barker.

Sweet news for Wales

French-owned OP Chocolate, which makes filled wafers and mallows, is to invest £1.5m and create more than 50 jobs at its factory in Merthyr Tydfil, Mid-Glamorgan.

Gould cuts more

Gould Alloys, specialist materials processor to the aerospace industry, is to invest £250,000 in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, doubling its capacity for water-jet cutting of advanced metals, including titanium and stainless steel nickel-based alloys.