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Alan Shearer reopens iconic Newcastle factory

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Alan Shearer has re-opened an iconic engineering factory in Newcastle, after it underwent a £20million transformation.

The investment in Armstrong Works by Reece Group has created 100 new jobs at the Scotswood Road site.

Once dubbed the world's first defence factory and the Workshop of the World, the factory produced the hydraulics for Newcastle's Swing Bridge and London's Tower Bridge, as well as parts for the Spitfire and the 'bouncing bombs' used by the Dambusters. It also made the first breech-loading gun for the war in Crimea and Chieftain tanks in the Second World War.

The factory was closed by former owners BAE Systems in 2012, with the loss of 330 jobs.

But the recent investment has reinvented the site as the new home of Reece Group and its 500 employees. The North East family firm is the holding company with engineering businesses operating in the defence, oil and gas, power generation, construction, medical and subsea markets.

Newcastle and England footballing legend Alan Shearer opened the factory. He said:

I am delighted to be asked to officially open the redeveloped Armstrong Works. The commitment of the Reece Group to the region is truly impressive. They have ensured the historic Armstrong Works with its industrial heritage remains in the hands of local innovative engineers.

– Alan Shearer