New UK manufacturing facility for The Vitec Group’s Production Solutions Division
The Vitec Group’s Production Solutions Division has announced the opening of a new facility in Bury St Edmunds, U.K. The Group’s CEO, Stephen Bird, hosted a ceremony at the new site to commemorate the company’s heritage, including its technologies, brands and relationship with the Bury St Edmunds’ community.
The new 66,000-square-foot Vitec Production Solutions U.K. HQ is the latest achievement in Vitec’s ongoing investment in Bury St Edmunds, and in British engineering and manufacturing. Employing close to 200 people, the new facility is the design home of the company’s teleprompting and broadcast camera support brands, including Autocue, Autoscript, OConnor, Sachtler and Vinten. The factory includes an advanced carbon-fibre cell for the manufacture of the award-winning camera tripod, flowtech.
“After a 54-year presence in Bury St Edmunds, the investment in this new purpose-built site reflects the success of our premium brands in the global marketplace,” said Stephen Bird. “We’re very proud of the outstanding accomplishments of our people and our products, and the industry leadership they have built in key areas of the broadcast market.”
In 1910 William Vinten founded a company to manufacture projection machines for Kinemacolor, the world’s first successful colour motion picture process. Over the ensuing decades, W. Vinten Ltd. would go on to invent and commercialise groundbreaking cameras and, later, camera supports, cranes, dollies and pan-tilt camera heads. Early on, the BBC standardised on Vinten equipment, a partnership that remains strong today. The company relocated to Bury St Edmunds in the mid-1960s and later changed its name to The Vitec Group. The Vinten name lives on as a leading manufacturer of manual and robotic camera support systems and accessories.
Bury resident Ian Kizis joined Vinten in 1976 and today is one of Vitec Production Solutions’ longest-serving employees, currently working as a development technician. Reflecting on his 42 years of service, he commented: “I joined the company when I was 17 as an apprentice in turning, milling and tooling. Over the years, I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with great mentors who have advanced my career in engineering and R&D. The new facility is fantastic — it’s a great place to work and opens an exciting new chapter for our Division.”
Alan Hollis, Divisional CEO, Vitec Production Solutions, commented: “Through the years, our people — like Ian — have been our greatest asset and the real reason our brands have remained at the cutting edge of innovation. Our new divisional headquarters has been designed to reflect our people-centric approach, with workspaces focused on communication and collaboration. I would like to congratulate the cross-functional team that has made the move a success, all of the fantastic people of Vitec Production Solutions and the broader Bury St Edmunds community.”
The official opening celebration on 7 June includes key company and community representatives such as Elaine Vinten, the wife of Bill Vinten (son of Vinten founder William Vinten); members of Vitec’s Board of Directors and leadership team; Bury St Edmunds community figures; contracting companies for the new facility’s design and construction; and current and former staff members.