The firm is taking on around 300 factory floor workers, increasing the workforce by a third to cope with rising worldwide demand for backhoes.
The move signals a turnround in fortunes at the plant driven by rising demand and a shift of production of fixed pivot backhoe loaders to the factory from the USA.
This brought a multi-million upgrade at the plant, which is now CAT’s leading backhoe manufacturing centre.
Last year saw hundreds of lay-offs and shopfloor staff working a three-day week. many worked for local charities for four weeks after production lines were put on hold.
Managers say the new investment secures the long-term future of the plant.
Backhoes, which will be designed and manufactured at the plant, will make up 80% of production compared to just over half before.
General manager Robert Droogleever said: “We plan to take on another 300 jobs this year.
“About 80% will be on the shopfloor, with most being temporary. We aim to make many of them permanent next year.”
He said the remaining 20% of the workforce would be in administration and sales.