Reading West MP and Minister of State for Employment Alok Sharma MP was delighted to welcome the Prime Minister the Rt Hon Theresa May MP to Reading on Friday 23 February to open formally the new Thales UK Headquarters in Green Park.
Thales is a global technology business headquartered in France and operating across the Defence, Digital Security, Aerospace, Space and Transport markets. The company has annual revenues of over £13billion of which £1.3billion is in the UK, and employs over 6,500 people in the UK alone.
The Prime Minister was welcomed to the site by Thales UK CEO Victor Chavez and Thales Global Chief Operating Officer, Mr Pierre Eric Pommellet to discuss the work of the company in UK innovation and technology.
The PM met with Thales graduates and apprentices before unveiling a commemorative plaque to mark the opening of the Green Park site.
As well as acting as Thales new UK headquarters, the £23million site in Green Park will be home to Thales centre of excellence for secure radio communications, their network and infrastructure systems, cyber security consultancy and Group's UK high-tech research facilities. The opening of the state of the art facility in Green Park, Reading, reaffirms Thales as a major contributor to the UK economy. The new site 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.
Thales has a 128 year history in the UK and has strong links to the Thames Valley. Each year the company invests over £575 million in its UK supply chain, working with more than 2,000 UK companies.
Prime Minister Rt Hon Theresa May MP 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 said: "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."
Victor Chavez our UK CEO: "The move to Green Park represents a strategic step forward for Thales, bringing together some of our key businesses with our Research team to ensure we remain on the cutting edge of customer-focussed, technology and business model innovation.
Mr Chavez continued: "This new world-class workspace sets the benchmark for future working environments across Thales UK; designed to enable collaboration with customers, partners and suppliers as well as supporting our move to Smart Working."