An Ashington-based manufacturer of pre-stressed concrete products is to expand its product range into a fast growing market earlier than expected. The swift growth is thanks to a programme designed to accelerate business growth and job creation in rural communities in Northumberland, County Durham and Gateshead.
Ten new full-time, skilled jobs will be created by Lynx Precast Limited following investment which will see the company introduce manufacturing capacity for large reinforced concrete products including stairs, lift shafts and landing units to its factory in Ashington. This will put the business in a position to supply these products nationally, rather than buying them in from elsewhere in the UK and Ireland.
The expansion comes following the award of a grant of £170,000 from the North East Rural Growth Network (NERGN) towards the overall investment of £630,000. The grant will be used in the purchase of machinery, including a large-scale automatic bar bending machine and on modifying factory space to enable the large-scale manufacturing to take place.
The company, which is based at Lynefield Park (the former Alcan Aluminium Smelter site) has been involved in the design, manufacture and installation of pre-stressed concrete flooring systems such as beam and block flooring and Hollowcore floors since 2014.
The project, which has already created five of the planned 10 jobs, will see production commence in June 2019. A further five jobs are planned before the end of the year.
“The market is huge; this investment means that we will be able to access large-scale infrastructure projects including highways and rail, not just regionally but nationally. It will open up a lot of opportunities in different market sectors and help us diversify and reduce our reliance on construction and housebuilding.
“Until now we have had to purchase reinforced products for our clients’ projects and bring them in from outside the region.” explains Lynx Precast Director Andy Teasdale,
“Without the additional grant funding this would have taken longer to get off the ground, it would have seen us adopt a much smaller scale approach over a longer time period. We are the biggest employer on this site with 52 staff at the time we made the application. With this funding boost we have been able to create the new jobs to employ the additional staff we need much faster.
Gary Roe, Business Growth and Investment Manager for Advance Northumberland worked with the business to identify the rural funding opportunity and complete the successful application.
“Investment in this vital capital plant and equipment will mean Lynx Precast has the financial opportunity to expand or diversify into new markets faster than planned, stimulating job creation with 10 new jobs for local people which is great news.
“The new facility will give the business control over delivery periods, increase margins and make it more competitive.”
Four years in to its five-year life, the North East Rural Growth Network has already successfully committed over £5-million in grant funding; 92% of its available funds, which will leverage more than £20-million in public and private sector investment. To date, more than half of the 321 planned new jobs arising from this investment have been created.
The programme, with £6-million funding from The North East LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership), is being delivered from March 2015 to March 2020.
Focusing on rural communities in Northumberland, County Durham and Gateshead the North East Rural Growth Network is stimulating business growth and job creation through the application of specific capital grant funding and expertise.