Siemens Healthineers’ base in Llanberis has a history stretching back to 1980
Dafydd Wigley MP with Osborn Jones outside Euro-DPC’s brand new factory in Llanberis, 1992. Photo courtesy of Cllr. Arwyn Roberts
Siemens Healthineers’ Llanberis factory, formerly known as Euro-DPC is well-known to local residents, and last year it celebrated 30 years of presence in the Snowdonia village.
At the tail end of 2022 it was announced that the facility was to be upgraded, and an investment would be made safeguarding 400 jobs and creating close to 100 new, high-quality jobs.
But what many might not know is that the the Arfon area’s relationship with medical innovation began in 1980, before the current site in Llanberis was opened. Local Plaid Cymru representatives were closely involved in the initial stages.
Siân Gwenllian, Arfon’s representative in the Senedd has spoken of the company’s long history within her constituency:
“I recently had the opportunity to visit Siemens Healthineers’ Llanberis factory, and was specifically encouraged to hear of the expansion plans.
“One of my predecessors in the Senedd, Plaid Cymru stalwart Dafydd Wigley, often refers to the establishment of a large company’s European HQ in Llanberis as one of his proudest successes as MP for the area.
“Alpha Dyffryn Cyfyngedig (ADC), an electronic medical equipment company was set up in 1980, spearheaded at the time by Gwynedd Health Authority’s Clinical Chemist, Osborn Jones. Osborn had a far-reaching vision of automating the process of blood analysis.
Alpha Dyffryn’s Board of Directors. From the left: Anthony Crump, Evan Parry, John Jones, Dafydd Wigley, Osborn Jones, Andrew Moore, John Llewelyn Jones, Evie Wyn Jones.
Osborn Jones said:
“The work began in the outbuildings of my home at Llandwrog, but the process was quickly professionalised after many local partners invested in the vision, and that’s how ADC came to be.
“In the earlier years grants were attracted, the Welsh Development Agency invested and a factory was established in the centre of Caernarfon.
“Dr. Andrew Moore, a bio-chemical researcher at Oxford heard of the venture at the same time he was tasked with establishing Diagnostic Products Corporation (DPC)’s UK HQ.
“Eventually a deal was struck and ADC and DPC began on their journey of cooperation. ADC’s base was relocated to y Felinheli and the workforce quickly increased to 40.”
Throughout ADC's 12-year independent existence, Dafydd Wigley was the Company's Chair as well as being the Plaid Cymru MP for the area. He said:
“As soon as it became evident that DPC would need to establish a factory for its European Market, I visited their headquarters in Los Angeles, pressing their Board to consider the Glynrhowy site. I successfully persuaded the company of the site’s suitability.
“Matters progressed quickly and the factory at Glynrhonwy, Llanberis would start production in July of 1992. Within 3 years 280 people were to be employed on the site.
“The factory’s economic and social contribution to the area since its inception has been immeasurable.
“It has progressed immensely, building on Osborn Jones' vision at the time of ADC's establishment, from the 6 people employed at the time of ADC’s establishment to a 400-strong workforce today. The jobs they offer are high-skilled, and average pay is significantly higher than the local average.
“I know how greatly Siemens appreciated the support they have received from both Wales' Senedd and Gwynedd Council and this partnership can help ensure the successful rolling out of the Company's expansion plans.”
John Major, then Prime Minister at the official opening of the Euro-DPC site, Sept 1992. Photo courtesy of Cllr. Arwyn Roberts.
Siân Gwenllian MS added:
“Investment of this type is crucial to the wider vision of Arfor, a venture to boost economic development in the Welsh language’s heartlands
“It is especially pertinent that we discuss economic growth in the context of Llanberis, a village that knows all too well the impact industrial decimation can have on a community.
“I would like to congratulate the workforce at Siemens for the truly pioneering work they do, and on consolidating Llanberis’ position as a world-wide centre of medical innovation.”
Siân Gwenllian’s co-worker at Westminster, Hywel Williams MP added:
“It was a pleasure to visit Siemens Healthineers in Llanberis and learn more about their exciting expansion plans which signals another significant step forward for the company, building on years of investment in the local economy by bringing around 100 new, highly skilled jobs to the area.
“The workforce in Llanberis should be proud of their contribution to the diagnosis and treatment of patients across the globe through their unique IMMULITE reagents used in blood analysers.
“It is credit to the quality of their work that their products are in such demand, cementing the Llanberis site as a centre of excellence for R&D and manufacturing. I look forward to seeing the expansion plans take shape.”