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3 minute read

Cornwall’s manufacturing sector work to combat Covid-19

There are approximately 1,100 manufacturing companies in Cornwall, employing 16,000 staff and accounting for £7.4bn GVA. In the fight against Covid-19, Cornwall’s manufacturing sector is doing all it can to help combat the pandemic’s impact.

From Saltash-based Composite Integration who have diversified to make PPE equipment, to Smith’s Metals in Redruth who are a critical supplier to Falmouth’s Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group (WMFTG), who themselves are an essential provider in the pharmaceutical supply chain, across to St Austell-based Polymermedics, who are manufacturing over 40 million tamper seals for drug vials every week, every corner of Cornwall has a manufacturer supporting the NHS.

Polymermedics is one of a number of Cornwall manufacturers that are contributing to the fight against Covid-19 / Picture: Polymermedics


The majority of members of the Cornwall Manufacturers Group (CMG) have remained operational and are manufacturing numerous NHS products and developing key supply chain materials in direct response to today’s need.

Jon Hurrell, chief executive of the CMG, said: “Cornwall Council has just asked our group to make PPE for Cornwall’s care provision and our members are doing all they can. It’s in times like this that the reach and value of Cornwall manufacturing cannot be undervalued.”

It’s not just the products being made but the depth of the supply chain that is so valuable as well.

Hurrell added: “Wadebridge based members Daften Die-casting source from Smiths Metal’s and manufacture fully-machined and powder-coated die-castings for WMFTG and we also have Partech, located near Bugle, who are specialists in water quality monitoring, providing critical support for water and wastewater treatment operators internationally.”

Penryn-based European Springs & Pressings are making catheter clips, Teddington Systems are making water isolation valves for the Nightingale Hospital, Bodmin-based CHX Products have designed tools and are injection moulding 5,000 PPE face shields a week, with Fitzgerald Lighting making lights for Basildon hospital.

Manufacturers in Cornwall employ 16,000 staff, accounting for £7.4bn GVA / Picture: WMFTG


Adding to the breadth of NHS support, the Bodmin site of West Pharmaceutical, manufacture moulds for a global network with products from these moulds delivering 7 in every 10 injections in hospitals globally. Technical expertise, spare parts and repairs from Western Mechanical Handling, sited at Callington, have also aided the manufacture of oxygen masks.

Signage has been supplied by Parc Signs throughout hospital sites, with PV3 Technologies making hand sanitiser, and Prima Bakeries supplying bread rolls to NHS hospitals and making free products available for the emergency services and NHS.

Eric Nicholls, chair of the CMG, said: “Beyond the members mentioned, there are many manufacturing companies in the county still working to support the larger economy. Manufacturing can and does continue to operate within the Covid-19 health and safety guidelines, the nature of how we work in large, organised and spacious sites, with our office teams now working from home, helps us to do that. The UK manufacturing sector accounts for £192 billion of output, the 9th largest in the world, and we will help the economy to recover.”

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