Royal visit for Doncaster business Omega PLC
Her Royal Highness, Countess of Wessex visited Thorne for a tour of the Omega PLC factory
Omega PLC welcomed Her Royal Highness, Countess of Wessex to Thorne in Yorkshire in early March to open Phase IV of the kitchen manufacturer’s expanding plant.Omega completed an ambitious £20m expansion plan at the end of 2018, taking its single site operation up to a total of 400,000 sq. ft.The expansion will increase production to 34,000 kitchens per annum and total production capacity to £125m within 2 years.Commenting on the opening of Phase IV, Chairman Sir Bob Murray CBE said: “We were delighted to welcome HRH Royal Highness, Countess of Wessex to Yorkshire today. She was incredibly gracious and took her time to tour the factory and showrooms as well as chatting with our employees. We were honoured that she could officially open Phase IV at the plant and unveiled a commemorative plaque.“I’m particularly pleased that so many of our employees could enjoy celebrating this important milestone with us. We have a strong and committed workforce - 98% of which are local to Yorkshire, and they remain our greatest asset.“In the last 12 months we have made significant investments in people, plant, processes and leading- edge technology to increase our capacity and capabilities. These investments will ensure we continue to exemplify the very best of British manufacturing and that the Omega name continues to epitomise inspired British design, craftsmanship and quality.”As part of her official visit HRH, Countess of Wessex was given a tour of the factory following Omega’s multi-million-pound investment in new technology and machinery.CEO Simon Barber, added: “We have invested £12m in leading edge plant and machinery – including a robotic material cutting and handling system and two automated paint lines to increase capacity and the quality of component parts, as well as two bespoke rigid assembly lines designed for Omega to assist us to further increase our capacity.“The capability and flexibility of our new machinery and technology will enable us to continue to innovate with new products, finishes and colours, adding ever greater variety and consumer choice to our market leading retail offer as well as boosting sales by 50% in the contract market in 2019.”Manufacturing Director, Richard Tattersall escorted the Countess of Wessex on a tour of the factory where she first met with machinist Gemma Stephenson from Stainforth and team leader Ken Stocks from Selby who explained the process of the panel manufacturing.At Assembly Line 2, she met with general assembly operatives Liam Deakes and Jason Brewer, both from Thorne, who described the unit assembly process. And in the warehouse/ panel store Darren Armitage from Doncaster, demonstrated Omega’s new technologically advanced stock control system.After her factory tour, HRH visited Omega’s impressive kitchen show rooms where Head of Retail Sales, James Bishton, explained the latest industry trends, presented new products and paint colour options available exclusively in Omega’s branded kitchens as well as demonstrating the latest feature islands, pantry units and corner larders in the manufacturer’s top selling ranges.At the end of her factory tour and visit to the showrooms, HRH visited Phase IV - Omega’s new 76,000 sq. ft./ 12m high manufacturing and warehouse facility – where she was invited by CEO Simon Barber to unveil a commemorative plaque in front of gathered guests and employees.Omega plc is a brand leader in the design and manufacture of high-quality fitted kitchens and furniture. Its beautifully crafted contemporary and classic kitchens are inspired by the principles of great British craftsmanship and design.The manufacturer supplies British-made kitchens throughout the UK via a network of specialist retailers as well as to developers and house builders through Omega Contracts.