Plans have been unveiled for a brand new innovation centre in Newtown to “put Wales back on the map for engineering”.

Europe’s number one cobot – collaborative robot - firm Reeco Automation wants to build a modern building next door to its current facility to attract the next generation of engineers and keep talented local people in mid Wales.

The new proposals for the Mochdre Industrial Estate would allow the tech business to have 300sqm of production space which would also double up as a showroom and exhibition area for new products and schemes to be shown to potential customers, local pupils and students and budding engineers wishing to join the industry.

If the plans are given the green light by Powys County Council planners, Reeco says it will immediately take on 15 new employees with an additional 20 to 25 in the coming years.

The firm, which began in 2016 and has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world, has warned that it is currently struggling for space to build products and are reluctant to take on too much work which in turn could pause growth.

County Times: The proposed new buildingThe proposed new building (Image: Reeco Automation)

“Reeco Automation Ltd has continued to grow over the last few years and as part of their growth plan they want to build an innovation centre next to their existing facility,” a spokesperson for the firm said.

“Reeco work closely with the local college and schools helping students understand what we do and the opportunities we have for them to pursue a career not only in engineering and robotics but also in business and marketing.

“Our aim is to build an innovation centre when we can invite schools and colleges in for training days to giving them work experience and boosting our apprenticeship numbers.”

A statement submitted as part of the planning application said: “Reeco wishes to put Wales back on the map for engineering, there are talented individuals within the area and need to bring them into work and show them the opportunities are here and they do not need to look at going to cities to get work, it is possible to stay in your local area and achieve your career goals.”

Matthew Hamer, planning and design agent at Hamco Developments, said: “It’s a pleasure to be working with Reeco Automation again, having obtained planning permission for an extension to their current base in 2019, it's fantastic to see a home-grown company continue to expand.

“This is a highly technical industry and is exactly what Newtown and mid Wales needs. It will provide technical career opportunities and really put the area on the map.

“The building is modern in design, mirroring its position in a highly technical industry and provides a light open environment which is both practical and environmentally sound. This highly efficient building is the ideal space to assemble and demonstrate their robotic and automated equipment.

“It will also be a fantastic building to welcome school and college students into and continue the great work Reeco does with getting young people into employment and fulfilling engineering careers.”