Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent, has formally opened a new factory extension for Barnsley-headquartered manufacturer Naylor Industries.
The £5m investment in a new production line will allow the manufacturing business to make larger diameter pipes to carry big volumes of surface water.
The most recent major development at the business took place in 2008, when it completed a £4m investment in production facilities at the Cawthorne site to manufacture 600mm diameter pipe, helping Naylor to accelerate out of the last recession.
The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership provided a £615,000 grant to support the project which has created 20 new jobs on the Cawthorne site, including a number of highly skilled engineering roles.
Naylor’s turnover broke through the £50m barrier for the first time this year. Naylor today employs 400 workers at six sites across the UK.
The Duke of Kent, who is the Queen’s cousin, toured the factory with Edward Naylor and met with staff members and apprentices.
Mr Naylor said: “Queen Victoria was on the throne when my great-grandfather founded Naylor Industries.
“It was an honour to show the Duke of Kent around our facilities.”
The decision to invest was made before Britain voted to leave the European Union and was partly driven by the increasingly unpredictable climate.
Mr Naylor said: “Every year we seem to be seeing once-in-a-lifetime weather events.
“As it rains more heavily, we need larger capacity pipelines to deal with storm water. Large diameter pipes are an important part of measures to defend the country against flooding.
“We progressed this development despite the outcome of the Brexit referendum.
“Although this has introduced some uncertainty into our key markets, we hope in due course to get our share of the big infrastructure projects which are in the pipeline such as the high-speed rail, smart motorway and nuclear power projects”