A MANUFACTURER of highly-engineered material has announced it will be setting up a global centre of excellence in Stourport, creating 40 jobs.

The town has beaten off competition from six international locations, including America and Shanghai, to be chosen as the centre for structural ceramics.

Morgan Advanced Materials, which already has a technical ceramic plant in the town’s Bewdley Road, chose Stourport for the centre after receiving support from Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier and chancellor George Osborne.

The Global Materials Centre of Excellence concept builds on the success of the group’s Global Fibre Research & Development centre in Bromborough, Merseyside.

Mark Robertshaw, chief executive of Morgan Advanced Materials, said: “Morgan believes that by building on this model and founding a new centre of excellence we can better serve our customers by developing new technologies for structural ceramics applications.

“It will allow Morgan to focus on idea generation and execution in one integrated facility.”

Mr Garnier visited the Stourport facility to discuss the goals of the centre and the potential benefits to customers.

He said: “This is great news for Stourport, Wyre Forest and the country. It is exactly this type of high-value manufacturing we need to develop in Wyre Forest.

“The commitment from Morgan is significant and will bring jobs, investment and training.

“The fact that Stourport has won over California and Shanghai is very significant and comes as a result of several factors, including business-friendly taxation and a political commitment to support advanced manufacturing.”

Labour’s Howard Martin, district council member champion for business, said: “Morgan’s confidence in the district is great news for the local economy. It means the creation of jobs and that Stourport will become a global focus for research and development in this area.”

The Stourport Global Materials Centre of Excellence is expected to open later this year.