Port Talbot Firm Creates 250 New Jobs with PPE Partnership

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Bollé Safety, the world’s leading PPE safety eyewear specialist, has announced the launch of a new strategic partnership with RotoMedical, the medical and protective equipment division of the Rototherm Group.

The deal will see the South Wales headquartered company become Bollé Safety’s exclusive UK manufacturer of PPE eyewear for the healthcare industry. Over 250 long term jobs in manufacturing and assembly will be created with the capacity to produce over 3 million PPE items each month.

This new production approach will see a range of Bollé face shields and goggles designed, manufactured, and assembled in the United Kingdom using locally sourced raw materials that will be sold in the UK and Ireland and exported to a number of other key global markets for the company.

With an emphasis on sustainability, the new Bollé Safety Cura range is reusable, economical, and environmentally friendly and unlike competitor models will come in a range of sizes to deliver optimal protection while suiting all face types. The new Bollé Safety Cura range is multi-use and recycled in conjunction with Recycle Lives, a British recycling and waste management company that supports and sustains charity programmes for offender rehabilitation, residential support, and food redistribution.

Peter Smith, CEO of Bollé Brands Group and President of Bollé Safety said: “At Bollé Safety our mission has always been to protect the eyesight of healthcare professionals across the world even in the most challenging environments, all while enhancing their ability to do important frontline work saving and protecting lives. Our new range builds on that expertise and every piece of PPE is certified to the highest safety standards to protect important frontline workers from injury and any airborne infections and viruses like COVID-19 entering through the eyes, nose, and mouth.

“Today’s announcement is another chapter in our UK story which goes back to 1964 when we sold our first safety goggles here. Since then, we have played our part in protecting workers in the NHS, Department of Health and Social Care, leading manufacturers in Wales, and other businesses that demand the highest quality safety equipment for their organisations.

“We take great pride in playing our part in protecting British manufacturing and healthcare workers and we are equally proud that going forward we will have “Made in Britain” emblazoned on some of Bollé Safety’s most innovative new products. Bollé brings over 120 years of innovation and 70 years of research and development, compliance and certification expertise in the design and development of market-leading PPE safety eyewear which delivers outstanding performance with unrivalled Platinum anti-fog technology, fit and comfort to those that use it.”

Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters said: “Since the beginning of the pandemic we have seen our businesses step up to the challenge of helping us produce much-needed PPE right here in Wales. It’s great news that an international company like Bollé is working with a Welsh business to make vitally important items for those on the front line of health services, not just here in the UK but across the world.

“This is a testament to the skilled manufacturing workforce we have here in Wales, and I very much welcome this announcement at what remains an incredibly difficult time for our people, our businesses and our economy.”

British Rototherm Managing Director Oliver Conger said: “The last year has seen Port Talbot emerge as a sustainable manufacturing base for PPE and we are delighted that Bollé will add specialist PPE eyewear expertise. Like Bollé, Rothertherm has a strong heritage dating back to the 1800s and a reputation for quality, industrial expertise, and innovation.  We’re excited about this partnership and the synergies it will bring. We look forward to creating new employment opportunities and making innovative and sustainable products from our manufacturing facility in Margam that will help keep our healthcare professionals safe from infection.”

Robert Lloyd Griffiths, National Director of the IoD in Wales said: “Today’s announcement by Bollé Safety and RotoMedical is excellent news for our economy and a great vote of confidence in the people of Port Talbot and the surrounding area who will no doubt welcome the opportunity of 250 much-needed new jobs in this important sector. It is a clear signal of what Wales has to offer as we focus on rebuilding our economy and creating jobs in the wake of the pandemic. We wish the new partnership between Bollé Safety and RotoMedical every success.”

Ian Price, Director Wales, CBI said: “With the Welsh economy suffering significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s great to hear news of companies making investments and committing to creating local jobs. Wales remains a great place to live, work and invest.”

Ian Walbeoff, Vice President of Sales at Bollé Safety said: “At the core of all that we do is an ambition to create protective eyewear that delivers greater everyday comfort, ergonomics and safety for those that need it most. Having worked across the UK and Ireland for the past 30 years I can say that today’s announcement is a new step for us and one that I am very proud to play a part in. We have a proud history providing PPE across the UK for South Wales Fire & Rescue, the UK border Force, The Royal Mint, Thames Valley Police and many leading companies like Western Power Distribution, Valero Energy and Cabot Carbon.We have now found a way to bring the best of what we do internationally at Bollé Safety to Port Talbot, creating jobs and making world class products that will genuinely save lives across the globe.”