UK: Arctic Circle was honoured to receive a visit from His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent whilst visiting Hereford last week. His Royal Highness was given a tour of the privately owned British Refrigeration Manufacturers facility, which boasts a multitude of diverse and innovative low carbon refrigeration and heat transfer technologies being adopted by some of the leading UK food retailers.
The Duke of Kent spent more than an hour at the company’s headquarters in Hereford meeting employees and touring the facility, after being invited by Debbie Gittoes, owner and founder of Arctic Circle, to unveil a plaque to commemorate the Royal Visit.
His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent unveils a plaque to commemorate his visit to Arctic Circle in Hereford.
His Royal Highness was welcomed by Debbie Gittoes, who commenced the tour by explaining about the company’s history, development and growth, and providing insight into how the company continues to be at the for-front of innovation when it comes to new and developing cooling and heating technologies.
Among those who The Duke of Kent met and chatted with was apprentice James Oddie, who explained about the company’s apprenticeship scheme, which commences with a year at Herefordshire Group Training Asscociation and then a further three years training on all aspects of the company’s engineering disciplines, before continuing the professional career development that Arctic Circle offers all of its’ employees.
His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent discusses the company’s apprenticeship scheme with James Oddie.
The Duke of Kent was then taken on a tour of the factory floor where he took time out to speak to some of the engineering workforce involved in the mechanical and electrical build process, whilst witnessing at first-hand the assembly of one of the many CO₂ transcritical refrigeration packs currently in production for UK supermarkets.
Debbie Gittoes gives His Royal Highness an insight into the use of Natural Refrigerants in Supermarket Refrigeration
The Duke of Kent’s last stop involved a visit to the company’s Natural Refrigerant Technology Centre (NRTC), a state of the art facility set up for the development of natural CO₂ and hydrocarbons refrigeration systems. The Duke of Kent was provided with further insight into the changing face of Supermarket refrigeration and the industry’s drive in moving to low-GWP and alternative refrigerants following the introduction of the new European F-Gas Regulation, and the phase-down of high-GWP refrigerants.
Commenting on the visit Managing Director, Debbie Gittoes said, “I hope that HRH found the visit interesting and informative. The Duke of Kent was particularly interested in our training programme and apprenticeship scheme. It is our thirty year anniversary next month and this visit was a good opportunity to showcase the business.”
Rounding off the visit, The Duke of Kent was treated to an Exhibition of the history behind the Royal Ordnance Munitions Factory at Rotherwas in Herefordshire, where some 12,000 men and women worked during the first and second World Wars.
The High Sheriff of Herefordshire Edward Harley and the Mayor of Hereford Cllr Charles Nicholls were also among the dignitaries for the royal visit of the facility.