The Duke of Kent visited Sheffield in Yorkshire to tour the William Cook Group and the engineers new precision factory. While there, the Duke also met the latest batch of apprentices.
Sir Andrew Cook, the factory’s Chairman, guided His Royal Highness around the £6m facility.
The Duke spoke of his excitement of touring the facility and meeting the new apprentices: “It is a great pleasure to come to a thriving Yorkshire company and see how well you are doing,” the Duke said to guests.
This new facility combines the latest 3D printing, ‘investment casting and robotics technology to allow the rapid manufacture of complex components of unprecedented size and accuracy.’
All new apprentices attend the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Training Centre once per week. They receive mentoring, guidance and experience from skilled craftsmen. The company is still acquiring apprentices for its Leeds Rail Plant. This facility recently underwent a £10m investment plan.
After completing the tour, The Duke unveiled a special plaque to commemorate his visit. The piece was produced with the group’s 3D printing and casting process.
After the tour, Sir Andrew said: “I am very pleased that His Royal Highness has come to see our Sheffield factory 31 years later.
“We have been through some trials and tribulations, but we have prospered over that time and kept a lot of people in employment.”
He added: “William Cook has been in this city since the late 19th century and our investment means we will have an important role to play in the city region’s future as a high-value manufacturer of complex components for the energy, defence, rail and aerospace sectors.
“We were especially pleased to be able to introduce the Duke to our apprentices, who have the potential to become the leading designers, engineers and technicians of the 21st century.”