in Aerospace / Defence

Icon transforming Victorian factory into modern manufacturing facility

Posted 24 July 2017 · Add Comment

Together with its landlord Strawsons, Icon Aerospace Technology is investing £7 million to transform a Victorian factory into a modern, state-of-the-art production facility.



This includes providing its workforce, suppliers and customers, with an attractive and productive environment in which to work, as the business works through an order book worth c. £150 million over the next few years (based on data released from Teal Group).

The investment enables Icon to reduce its total footprint by near 50% to a highly efficient and productive three-acre site - all whilst its sales output doubles. The purpose-built facility enables the aerospace manufacturer to significantly improve flow of materials, achieve throughput efficiencies and productivity and reduce its carbon footprint through a more energy efficient production environment. The enhanced capacity and competitive environment which has been created has positioned Icon to win more work as the aerospace and defence market continues to grow.

The modernisation programme is part of Icon’s wider Continuous Improvement Programme (CIP), known as I4 – Improvement; Insight; Intelligence and Inspiration. This is a £3 million investment which is creating an environment that enables all employees to contribute, learn and deliver improvements, and thus help the company achieve its vision of building a highly successful manufacturing business for the long term. This will not only create a productive and happy workforce, but will have a positive knock-on effect for the local Retford community, where the business has been based since inception, in 1871.

Tim Pryce, CEO of Icon Aerospace Technology commented: “The strength of our products and service is in the strength of our people and when the Icon team considered how best they could further meet the demands of our customers we knew the answer was in our employees.  By creating a working environment where our employees could thrive, our customers would feel the benefit. 

“The town of Retford and the surrounding communities have been our home for 145 years and this level of investment ensures we can continue to provide a great place to work and for people to build careers, across all functions, from Engineering and Accounting to Marketing and Manufacturing.  As well as the 100 new jobs created by Icon in the last 18 months, the Icon team supports many local businesses on a daily basis, from shops, to garages and hotels. 

Icon Aerospace Technology is on track to deliver its impressive growth plan and with that create even further jobs and opportunities.

Simon Greaves, Leader of Bassetlaw Council said: “We are delighted that Icon Aerospace has committed its future to Retford, having provided employment for local people for over 145 years. Icon is a significant employer and this investment keeps high quality manufacturing jobs in Retford. This development is also part of a wider regeneration scheme that will bring further investment and opportunities to our town.”

The next step for Icon is to complete the construction of a new facility for its offices, before the end of 2017, which will house all business functions.

Icon Aerospace Technology is part of the Applied Composites Group and has manufacturing sites in Retford, Nottinghamshire and Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

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