Bosses at digger-giant JCB have promised to do ‘whatever they can’ to help the country through the coronavirus pandemic.
Manufacturers across the country, including Staffordshire-based JCB, will be asked by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to use production lines to build more ventilators.
According to JCB chairman Lord Anthony Bamford, the firm has been approached by the PM.
A decision is now being made on whether the company can assist or not.
Lord Bamford said: “We have been approached by the Prime Minister to see if we can help with the production of ventilators.
“We have research and engineering teams actively looking at the request at the moment.
“It’s unclear as yet if we can assist, but as a British company, we will do whatever we can to help during the unprecedented times our country is facing.”
The news comes as Derbyshire firm Rolls-Royce today said it is currently waiting to find out what the Government needs and how it may be able to practically help.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has revealed the country is in urgent need of ventilators.
He said: “We start with around 5,000 ventilators, we think we need many times more than that and we are saying if you produce a ventilator then we will buy it. No number is too high.
“They are relatively complicated pieces of kit. I couldn’t make one, but they’re not so complicated that the advanced manufacturing that this country is so good at now can’t be able to turn its production lines over to.
“We’ve been talking to a whole host of companies about it and the Prime Minister is hosting a conference call today with them to say very clearly to the nation’s manufacturers ventilators are the thing that we are going to need and frankly right across the world, the demand for them is incredibly high so it is not possible to produce too many.”
The number of people with confirmed cases of coronavirus currently stands at four.
Follow our new Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire coronavirus news Facebook group for all the latest key updates here.