A DARWEN company is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a new multi million-pound contract to manufacture Royal Mail’s iconic red postboxes.

WEC GROUP operates manufacturing sites across Lancashire, Yorkshire, Merseyside and the West Midlands and is thrilled to take up the opportunity to play a part in such a well-loved piece of heritage.

Production began on July 1 and as well as postboxes also includes parcel drop boxes, sorting stations, and trolleys.

WEC Group commercial director Wayne Wild said: “The Royal Mail is one of the country’s best-known brands, and we are very proud of our new association with such a long-established business."

The contract will provide a welcome boost to the company and its 900 staff members, including 150 skilled welders.

Mr Wild said: “Despite tough market conditions brought about by the recent pandemic, our ability to secure contracts of this scale is the proof that WEC is the go to contract manufacturing company for anyone looking to strengthen their supply chain and future-proof their business.”

WEC Group’s fabrication operations manager Adrian Radcliffe said: “We won this contract based on our commitment to quality and strong track record of delivering similar contracts on time and on budget. This new work fits perfectly with our full in-house manufacturing capabilities which include laser cutting, fabrication, machining, and specialist coatings.

“All our team in Darwen are very excited at the prospect to start fabricating such well known products and we will take great pride in turning this into another success for WEC Group.”

The postboxes will be added to the company’s already extensive roaster of manufactured products which have included assembly jigs for Airbus A320 in Hamburg, a multi-million-pound stainless steel bridge in the Lake District, and more recently some key sheet metal assemblies for the Ventilator Challenge UK consortium.

Contracts like these will prove crucial to the manufacturing sector in the region as the economy continues to grapple with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Darwen and Rossendale MP, Jake Berry said: “WEC Group really are a first-class company so it’s appropriate that they’ll be manufacturing the iconic red letterboxes right here in Darwen.

"Well done everyone at WEC on securing this new contract with the Royal Mail.”