The Dräger Group, a global leader in the fields of safety and medical technology, today announced that its Board has approved plans to acquire land for a potential new facility, with a view to keeping its UK headquarters in the North East of England.

The company, which has its UK Safety Division headquarters in Blyth, Northumberland and employs 450 people across functions ranging from marketing, research and development (R&D), sales and service and manufacturing, celebrated 60 years of its UK operation last year.

Malcolm Irving, Head of Global Supply Chain Management, Safety Division and Managing Director, Safety Division UK & Ireland said: “Today’s announcement is the culmination of over 18 months’ work to determine the best long-term future for the business in the UK, and I am delighted to be able to reaffirm our commitment to the North East. The new plans seek to enable the expansion of our operations in line with our anticipated growth projections over the coming years.

“Ensuring that we retain the skills and experience of our exceptionally committed and talented staff, many of whom have worked with Dräger here in Northumberland for many years, was instrumental in our decision to not only remain, but to further invest, in the North East over the coming years.”

Work is now underway to develop more detailed plans and to select a suitable site for the potential new facility, which it is hoped will accommodate R&D, Manufacturing, Sales, Service and Support, all with a strong overarching focus on sustainability, in line with Dräger’s commitment to achieve NetZero globally by 2045.

The new site is expected to be considerably larger than the company’s existing 36,000m3 Blyth site, which will remain in use for the immediate future.

Stefan Dräger, Chairman of the Executive Board, who is the fifth generation of the Dräger family to run the business, overseeing entities in over 50 countries, comments: “This decision endorses our confidence in the UK for future business. Our site in the North East of England is an integral part of our global operations function. Blyth is a centre of excellence for the production of our breathing apparatus for global demand. The decision to invest in this project demonstrates our commitment to the future growth of the UK and to our people, committed to Technology for Life.”

Draeger Safety UK is part of The Dräger Group, a family company founded in 1889 with over 16,000 employees worldwide. It is one of the global leaders in safety and medical technology and its safety products are used and trusted by a wide variety of customers across sectors including utilities, oil and gas, renewable energy, emergency services and manufacturing.

The company designs and manufactures breathing apparatus and also manufactures the Pulsar 7000 Series, Dräger’s flagship open path gas detector, at the Blyth site, which is also home to the headquarters of the safety division in the UK and sales, service and support functions.

More details on the plans are expected to be announced in the coming months.