A FIBRE glass manufacturer is celebrating after securing an investment of more than £15m from its Japanese parent company.

Two years ago, Electric Glass Fiber UK in Hindley was taken over by Nippon Electric Glass (NEG).

The Leigh Road site employs more than 300 employees with the fibre glass the plant creates being used in wind turbine blades.

The product is also used to replace the steel in vehicles, trains and planes to increase fuel efficiency.

A celebratory symbolic furnace lighting ceremony, which included traditional Japanese Shinto and Christian traditions, recently took place at the plant.

Executive vice president of NEG, Hirokazu Takuechi, flew in from the Far East to perform the ceremony. Father Owen Edwards also led a pastoral prayer for good production and business at the event.

Brian Stewart, managing director of Electric Glass Fiber UK and member of Wigan borough’s Forward Board ,said: “We’re delighted to have had colleagues from Japan and Wigan Council visit the plant and be a part of this celebration.

“We’re thankful for this investment, which will help us provide a more environmentally friendly manufacturing footprint and provide continued employment security for more than 300 employees.”

Wigan borough mayor Cllr Sue Greensmith, Wigan Council leader Cllr David Molyneux and Lord Peter Smith spoke at the event as well.

Council leader Cllr Molyneux said: We’re committed to supporting businesses in Wigan borough to flourish so it’s fantastic news that Electric Glass Fiber UK has secured this investment, which will go towards further company upgrades.

“Brian and his team will be able to make some positive improvements to their manufacturing process, which will in turn, benefit the local economy and area.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with Electric Glass Fiber and wish them well in their new venture.”