THE boss of digger firm JCB said yesterday he sees encouraging signs for the economy next year despite post-Brexit doom-mongering.
And Lord Anthony Bamford shrugged off uncertainty felt by some businesses to award his staff a bumper Christmas bonus.
The ardent Brexiteer told them: “I am delighted that we are able to award a Christmas bonus in 2018 to thank you for your hard work and contribution to our success.
“As we look forward to next year, the signs remain encouraging in spite of the downbeat economic predictions from some quarters.
“Let’s not forget the UK is the world’s fifth-largest economy with record employment levels and record levels of foreign inward investment.
“There are many reasons to remain positive for the future.”
Around 7,200 employees at JCB’s 11 plants across Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham will receive an extra £1,000 in their pay packets.
It is the company’s biggest Christmas bonus for more than a decade and comes after machine production reached a 73-year high and 1,500 extra people were recruited.
Lydia Lyons, 36, who works in JCB’s legal department said: “It’s amazing to get such a big amount. It really takes the weight off your shoulders getting a bonus so close to Christmas.
“We’ve had loads of work done on our house recently and this will help pay those bills and mean we can enjoy the festivities without worrying about the money.”
JCB was founded in a Staffordshire garage after World War Two by Anthony’s father Joseph.
Since his son took over in 1975, it has opened 21 factories globally and grown from an annual turnover of £44million to more than £3billion.
This year the firm began work on a £50million factory at Uttoxeter to build cabs for its machines and unveiled its first electric digger.