CARLISLE is set to be the home of a worldwide forestry machinery company’s UK headquarters.

At a ceremony held on January 20, the mayor of Carlisle, Cllr Mike Mitchelson, attended a spade-in-the-ground ceremony for Komatsu’s new UK headquarters.

Situated by Carlisle Airport, the new site will be the first Komatsu site that is owned 'from the ground up' by them, and everything going into the building of the site has been kept local.

In Cumbria: The Mayor (third from left) speaking to construction workers and Komatsu reps about the project.The Mayor (third from left) speaking to construction workers and Komatsu reps about the project. (Image: NQ)

According to the company, this is something Komatsu wanted from the beginning, keeping it all local from the construction, architectural design, consultancy, and raw materials.

Komatsu is a Japanese company which sells and manufactures forestry equipment and has had a base in Longtown for some time.

This new site breaks away from Komatsu’s norm of renting out spaces and will be its first full-owned site, from the land to the building itself.

Speaking on what it will bring to the area, Stephen Bellas, managing director of Komatsu in the UK, said it will bring 35 new jobs into the city, and make Carlisle the base for the company’s national headquarters.

In Cumbria: The Mayor aboard a digger at the spade-in-the-ground event for Komatsu's UK headquarters in Carlisle.The Mayor aboard a digger at the spade-in-the-ground event for Komatsu's UK headquarters in Carlisle. (Image: NQ)

He added: “One of our starting points, when we started in July 2019, was to use local industries.”

He said it will be ready and open in the summer of this year, aiming for an August 4 opening.

In Cumbria: Artist's impression of what then entrance of finished site will look like.Artist's impression of what then entrance of finished site will look like. (Image: Komatsu)

Leading the construction is local firm Cubby Construction, the managing director of which, Tommy Cubby, said the £3.5million job will be ready by early August, and keeping it all local is something mutually important for themselves and Komatsu as a worldwide brand.

Christian Judd, director of Architects Plus, a Carlisle architectural company, said Komatsu’s work ethic is 'exemplary' of whom they like to work with, and spoke of the architectural side of the operation: “For the city, it’s a pretty big project.

“We’ve got a good size contract value; this is one of the bigger commissions.

In Cumbria: The construction site on January 20.The construction site on January 20. (Image: NQ)

“Komatsu is brilliant, these are the exact kinds of clients that we want to work with, and we employed Cubby’s, a local firm with a local reach.

“We’re not a big firm, it’s just 13 of us in the office now, but we like to work with local firms that have a local impact.

“Komatsu has also put the charge on making sure it’s sustainable, we’re picking materials that don’t have a financial impact.”

Mayor Mike Mitchelson commented: “It’s good news for Carlisle, a huge investment that’s going to be Komatsu’s UK headquarters.

“It makes Carlisle have more of a presence nationally and will be good for the economy.

“All that money spent has been spent at local firms, meaning it goes back into our local economy.”

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