A County Durham manufacturer is going from strength to strength following a 20 per cent increase in turnover last year.

BTS Facades and Fabrications, which is based in Newton Aycliffe and manufactures metal rainscreen and fabrications for the construction industry, will end the financial year with turnover of £8.5 million – a rise of £1.6 million.

The financial results mark a period of major growth for the firm, with the appointment of a technical manager, investment in a range of new equipment and a £50,000 grant.

BTS managing director Phil Atkinson said: “We recently appointed Mark Wiper as technical manager and his first objective will be to review and retest all our systems – over the past three years, we’ve very much focused on automation and sales, and our existing systems have taken a back seat.

“There are a few improvements we can make, and value engineering will be done, so Mark will initially be focused on system testing, certification and legislative compliance. It’s a perfect fit for our overall growth strategy, as we want our technical offering to be aligned to our other strategies, such as automation.”

Mark, who has three years of experience in a similar role and has worked in the industry for 34 years, added: “I have an extensive background in product and system testing and certification in the construction industry, and I’m looking forward to putting this into practice at BTS.

“It’s exciting to be working with a new team, and BTS is a dynamic business, with significant scope for growth in a competitive market.

“The team are also investing heavily in the future in terms of assets and hardware as well as personnel, which clearly demonstrates it’s a company with a long-term future, not only for myself, but for the wider region.”

Over the past two years, BTS has invested in five new pieces of machinery, including a new panel bender and a new press, to make its manufacturing processes more streamlined and efficient.

Phil added: “Our strategy for automated equipment is paying off; we have the best automation in the industry, and we always research extensively into the best available machines and software.

“All of this helps our sales team go after those bigger contracts, backed by the confidence that we have the facility to service our ever-growing client base.

“We’ve also been awarded £50,000 from the County Durham Growth Fund, which we will use to invest in further new machinery to improve efficiencies.

“In the past five years, the BTS team has grown from 34 to 55, and we’re not standing still.  We are continually trying to improve the business and invest in more efficient machines and processes, and our goals for the next five years are more of the same; more automation, more training, more people and more growth.”

The £50,000 of capital grant funding was secured from the County Durham Growth Fund, to support their latest investment of over £155k. The fund was set up by Business Durham, the economic development arm of Durham County Council, along with their delivery partner UMi, to help stimulate and enable businesses to grow by providing funding towards capital investment projects. County Durham Growth Fund is funded from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.