Prime Minister Theresa May recently joined Reading West MP Alok Sharma to officially open the new UK headquarters of global technology company, Thales at Green Park, Reading. The company, headquartered in France, has a 130-year history in the UK, incorporating many iconic British businesses such as Racal in the Thames Valley. The event was hosted by Victor Chavez, Chief Executive of Thales in the UK and Pierre Eric Pommellet, Chief Operating Officer of Thales Group.
The Prime Minister was shown a number of key projects including the European Aviation Network, which will provide 4G connectivity on flights across Europe and some of the lifesaving capabilities developed for our armed forces. There was also an opportunity to meet a number of the 350 graduates and apprentices Thales employs in the UK and to hear about how the company participates in activities to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) to address the UK’s engineering shortage and increase diversity.
The opening of the state of the art facility in Green Park, Reading, reaffirms Thales as a major contributor to the UK and the Thames Valley economy. The new site, one of the company’s five global centres specifically designed to focus on research and technology, is bringing 500 highly skilled jobs to the area – including 300 specialised engineers – with capacity to accommodate a further 100 jobs as Thales grows in the region. This is a significant part of Thales’s overall contribution to UK prosperity, employing 6,500 people with annual revenues of £1.3bn.
Prime Minister Theresa May said: “It was a great pleasure to join Alok Sharma to officially open Thales UK’s Headquarters in Green Park. I really enjoyed meeting some of the staff who are going to work at the site, including several apprentices who are beginning a career in engineering. 2018 is the Year of Engineering and it’s so important we encourage our young people to take up careers in this vitally important area.”
Alok Sharma MP added: “I am very grateful to the Prime Minister for taking the time to come to my Reading West constituency, to open the new Thales UK Headquarters in Green Park. I am delighted that Thales, a major contributor to the UK economy, has chosen to base its UK headquarters locally, once again demonstrating that the Reading area is an economic powerhouse in the country. Thales, is also a major exporter from the UK demonstrating the strength of the UK manufacturing sector.”
Andy Cowie, President of Reading & Wokingham Chamber Council, commented: “I am very pleased that Thales, who are a major contributor to the UK economy, have chosen to open their UK office in Reading. This will strengthen the technology sector in the region even further and serves to emphasize the importance of Reading to the wider UK economy”.
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