Kent based manufacturer of complex plastic and metal components for aerospace and defence, MEP Ltd. (MEP), is investing $6.4 million to establish its first US operation in Cyber Park - jointly owned by the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County - in the United States.
Phil Hart, Executive Chair of MEP Ltd. and President of Making Everything Possible LLC.
Operating in the US as Making Everything Possible LLC, it will occupy approximately 5,500 square feet at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) while its new facility is constructed. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina for the project, which will create 45 new jobs.
“Virginia’s manufacturing industry is large and diverse, and we are excited to partner with MEP Ltd. as the company opens its first US operation in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “Danville-Pittsylvania County has developed an inventory of business-ready sites and training programmes to ensure a strong pipeline of skilled workers, enabling Southern Virginia to attract global businesses like MEP.”
Moulded and Engineered Plastics (MEP Ltd.) was founded by Terry Hart in 1972, born in a single garage in Forest Row, East Sussex. Now headquartered in Aylesford near Maidstone in Kent, UK, MEP Ltd. has successfully served the aerospace and defence sectors for four decades. MEP has $3.2 million in global sales and currently operates a 21,000-square-foot plastic and metal components manufacturing facility in the United Kingdom.
“The Commonwealth’s unparalleled connection to the global economy is especially attractive to international companies, and Southern Virginia has attracted many of them,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Making Everything Possible LLC will be equipped with 21st-century talent and infrastructure while making an invaluable economic impact on Danville-Pittsylvania County.”
“Following extensive research regarding the best location in the US for MEP Ltd.’s continued expansion, we are delighted to choose Danville as our base for Making Everything Possible LLC,” said Phil Hart, Executive Chair of MEP Ltd. and President of Making Everything Possible LLC. “The support and guidance we have received from the City, County and the Commonwealth has been exemplary. The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research is a very particular draw for us, as the approach to encouraging the growth of STEM skills and diversity has been a major reason for our decision, and we look forward to working closely with Troy Simpson and his team to continue the good work in advanced manufacturing and technology. Together, we can grow our US business, sharing our success with the people of Danville and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Together, we can go beyond, Making Everything Possible.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Danville, Pittsylvania County, the Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority, Invest Southern Virginia, and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance to secure the project for the Commonwealth. Governor Northam approved a $135,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Danville-Pittsylvania County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $270,000 from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund for the project. MEP is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding, and services to support the company’s job creation will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
“On behalf of the City of Danville, I want to thank MEP for choosing our city and region for its first US operation and we look forward to them becoming a vital and successful member of the business community,” said Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones. “Working together, we are taking Danville and the Dan River Region to the next level.”
“I am pleased that Making Everything Possible LLC has chosen Danville-Pittsylvania County for its first US operations,” said Robert W. “Bob” Warren, Chairman of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors. “Our local economic development team first met with and toured the company’s UK facility during a European trade mission, and it was apparent that the technologies utilised by this company would greatly complement our existing workforce programmes. On behalf of the Board, I thank Mr Hart and his firm for their commitment to our growing community and wish them nothing but success. In Danville-Pittsylvania County, anything is possible.”
“The story of MEP is one of vision, determination, and dedication,” said Sherman Saunders, Chairman of the Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority. “Those qualities have guided the company along a path of continued growth in its capacity and capabilities over four decades in the United Kingdom and, with this announcement today, here in our community. It is such a joy to welcome MEP into our industrial family.”
“MEP brings decades of machining experience from its UK operations into a region of the US known for legacy workforce training programs and advanced machining technology,” said Linda Green, Executive Director of the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance. “Making Everything Possible LLC will strengthen the cluster of manufacturing assets that continue to fuel the future growth of the Southern Virginia region.”
“As part of our mission to foster economic transformation, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research strives to offer first-class spaces to launch companies,” said Mark Gignac, IALR Executive Director. “Making Everything Possible LLC will be an excellent fit for the advanced manufacturing ecosystem at IALR and throughout our region and I am delighted to welcome them to our campus.”
“From a single garage in the UK all the way to our Cyber Park here in Danville-Pittsylvania County almost 50 years later, MEP is a fantastic success story and I am proud that the company chose to open its first US facility in Southern Virginia,” said Tobacco Commission member Dr Alexis Ehrhardt. “The entrepreneurial spirit that MEP represents is a perfect fit for our region, as is its focus on designing and manufacturing products for the aerospace industry, a growing business sector in Southern Virginia. I wish MEP the best as the company gets its project underway, and welcome them as an important addition to our business community.”
“The growing confidence that advanced manufacturing companies continue to have in the Southside workforce is once again evident with this fantastic announcement by MEP Ltd. to locate its US operations here in Danville,” said Senator Bill Stanley. “The addition of these 45 new jobs will not only greatly benefit the region economically but also will attract even more of these types of businesses to Danville and Pittsylvania County in the future. MEP Ltd. can count on the people of Southside to be a great partner in its continued success.”
“We welcome MEP Ltd. to our region and are excited that it will establish its first U.S. operation here,” said Delegate Danny Marshall. “The plastics and metal component manufacturer is a great fit for our area, since we already have advanced training programs for moulding and machining and can offer a skilled workforce. We appreciate MEP Ltd. selecting the Cyber Park, bringing 45 new jobs and investing more than $6 million in our community. We look forward to a great partnership and to the company’s great success.”