Ministerial visit to Optare factory

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Dr Vince Cable was shown several buses in production and met some of the 400 staff employed at the Optare factory
Dr Vince Cable was shown several buses in production and met some of the 400 staff employed at the Optare factory

Business Secretary Dr Vince Cable follows up previous visit to Optare parent company Ashok Leyland

Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, visited the Optare manufacturing facility at Sherburn in Elmet, near Leeds, shortly after Optare announced its Euro 6 Solo SR and MetroCity diesel-powered buses had gained low carbon accreditation for their low emissions.

The visit included a tour of the factory where Dr Cable met staff and saw several buses in production, including Optare’s fully electric models and the newly developed MetroDecker.

The Business Secretary said: “Optare’s cutting-edge electric buses – fully designed and built in Leeds – are in demand across the globe and exported as far away as Australia, as well as being sold throughout the UK. I recently visited Optare’s parent company Ashok Leyland in India where I was impressed by the range of high-tech vehicles.

“The government’s industrial strategy, developed in partnership with industry, is giving businesses such as these the confidence to invest over the long term and create high skilled jobs.”

The Optare factory was officially commissioned on a visit by Transport Minister, Norman Baker in 2011, and now employs over 400 people, exports its vehicles as far afield as South Africa, The Middle East and Australia, and has won awards for its technology.

Enrico Vassallo, CEO, Optare PLC said: “We were very honoured to welcome Dr Vince Cable MP and to escort him on a tour of our facilities at Sherburn in Elmet. We were particularly delighted to showcase the proven technology of our fully electric vehicles and our newly developed MetroDecker as well as explain to Dr Cable our achievements in both UK and international markets and our contribution to the local and UK economy.

“It was a memorable day for all our staff, and underlines what Optare has accomplished in recent years.”