Production has re-started at Liberty Aluminium Technologies after a two-month pause, with safety measures introduced to minimise the risk posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employees are returning to work this week to produce components for the automotive sector at sites in Coventry and Witham, Essex, which are part of the Liberty Engineering group owned by Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance.

Measures put in place at factories include:
- Temperature checks on arrival
- Employee briefings on social distancing and COVID-19 safety
- Clearly marked one-way walking routes through facilities
- Perspex barriers between workstations where appropriate
- One person per table seating in rest areas
- Sanitation stations throughout the factory
- Closure of catering facilities

Liberty, as a Tier 1 supplier, has been able to re-open because major carmakers, which are the business’s key customers have resumed production. Operations have begun at a modest level, with around 15% of employees back on site, but Liberty is ready to increase output in response to demand.

Dr Douglas Dawson, Chief Executive, Liberty Industries, said: “Liberty Engineering which is a sizeable Group and employs 1600 staff, is a resilient business. The automotive industry has been the heart of UK manufacturing for decades. We have as a business already overcome the challenges of Dieselgate, Brexit uncertainty and we will not be defeated by the COVID-19 crisis.”

“This is a gradual, controlled restart but we hope to be able to bring more employees back to work soon. The safety of our workforce is our absolute top priority, so we’ve consulted with unions and put in place appropriate measures to ensure that we are COVID-ready.”

Liberty Aluminium Technologies employs more than 400 people at sites in Coventry, Kidderminster and Witham, Essex.

Among other Liberty Engineering businesses, Liberty Pressing Solutions in Coventry, has resumed operations at a modest level for some customers.

Oldbury based Accles & Pollock, which was recently awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, produces components for industries including aerospace and has been in production throughout the pandemic.

Shiftec, which makes critical components for the defence industry and the National Health Service over 2 sites in the West Midlands, has also maintained production and has recently moved into new state-of-the-art premises in Leamington Spa.