Advanced manufacturing

Sir James Dyson launches the robot vacuum that cleans while you’re out

September 5, 2014
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Sir James Dyson launches the robot vacuum that cleans while you’re out

Inventor Sir James Dyson has unveiled his firm’s latest innovative appliance aimed at revolutionising household chores – a powerful robot vacuum cleaner that works even when its owner isn’t home. Launched to great fanfare in Tokyo yesterday by Bath-based Sir James, and using technology developed at Dyson’s world-beating Malmesbury research and development centre, the...

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Manufacturing growth slows as concerns grow over weaker exports

September 1, 2014
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Manufacturing growth slows as concerns grow over weaker exports

Growth among West of England manufacturers has eased to more moderate and sustainable long-term levels, according to a new survey published – but exports are being hit by a combination of weakness in the eurozone and sterling’s strength. The latest quarterly Manufacturing Outlook survey from EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, and accountants BDO shows a...

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Vectura’s pioneering asthma inhaler gets green light for use in another new market

August 28, 2014
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Vectura’s pioneering asthma inhaler gets green light for use in another new market

An innovative inhaler for patients with asthma developed by Chippenham-based specialist drug firm Vectura has secured its first approval in Latin America. The green light from Mexico’s Health Authority follows similar go-aheads in four European countries and South Korea for the AirFluSal Forspiro device, pictured, which can also be used to treat chronic obstructive...

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Ambassador to highlight trade opportunities in fast-growing, tech-savvy South Korea

August 26, 2014
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Ambassador to highlight trade opportunities in fast-growing, tech-savvy South Korea

West firms will be able to learn about commercial opportunities in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies when the British Ambassador to South Korea visits the region next week. Scott Wightman will be joined by CEO of the British Chamber of Commerce in Korea, David Lee, at the free event staged by UK Trade...

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Investment manager taken on at BGF in the West as it looks to fund more high-growth businesses

August 19, 2014
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Investment manager taken on at BGF in the West as it looks to fund more high-growth businesses

The South West office of BGF, the business growth fund set up to help the UK’s growing smaller and medium-sized firms, has appointed Sarah Ledwidge as an investment manager. Sarah, pictured, will be responsible for identifying investable businesses in Wiltshire, Hampshire and the Thames Valley and working with them to achieve their growth plans....

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More fears over looming skills shortages as another survey predicts strong employment growth

August 11, 2014
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More fears over looming skills shortages as another survey predicts strong employment growth

Further evidence of an impending skills shortage among West firms that could threaten to derail the economic recovery has emerged from a report predicting the strongest jobs growth since 1998. The national survey by accountants BDO shows businesses’ hiring intentions rose sharply last month to surpass their pre-recession figure and reach their highest level...

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Lights, camera, innovation: Smartphone promo film puts science park in the frame

August 11, 2014
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Lights, camera, innovation: Smartphone promo film puts science park in the frame

Bristol & Bath Science Park, with its state-of-the-art innovation centre, has again been used as the setting for a film promoting advanced technology. The Science Park, based between the two cities at Emersons Green and backed by the University of Bath, stars in a promotional film for the new Samsung Galaxy S5, which tells...

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Alliance Pharma’s £22m prescription for further growth through acquisition

August 7, 2014
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Alliance Pharma’s £22m prescription for further growth through acquisition

Alliance Pharma, the highly-acquisitive speciality pharmaceutical company, has around £22m on tap to add to its growing portfolio of branded medicines and treatments, it said this week. The undrawn funds are available in its bank facility, the Chippenham-based firm announced in a pre-close trading update to the London Stock Exchange ahead of its interim...

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Avon Rubber overcomes impact of strong pound with raft of orders in the US

August 6, 2014
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Avon Rubber overcomes impact of strong pound with raft of orders in the US

A strong order intake from the US, including contracts worth £25m with the Pentagon, has helped manufacturer Avon Rubber overcome the impact of the strong pound. The firm, whose core respirator products are used by the military and emergency services, also benefited from buoyant orders for its dairy industry products, which are used by...

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Orders up at engineering group Rotork but sterling’s strength pushes down half-year profits

August 5, 2014
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Orders up at engineering group Rotork but sterling’s strength pushes down half-year profits

The strong pound has hit profits at Bath-based specialist engineering group Rotork, taking the shine off a record half-year order intake and increased activity in many of its markets. First-half pre-tax profit at the group, which makes high-value valves controls and actuators for the global oil and gas industry, fell by 3.3% to £61.5m...

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