A Marske engineer who has realised a long held ambition to run his own business is using a funding package from UKSE to help him take on a qualified engineer, an apprentice and purchase additional equipment.

Martin Dobson’s Steel River Fabrications, set up just last year, is going from strength to strength in a workshop just a stone’s throw from where he completed his own apprenticeship 25 years ago.

“This investment has come at an important time,” he said. “Having taken the plunge and set up Steel River there has been a real demand for our services from a number of sectors.

“Contracts have included a number of heavy industrial projects including the fabrication and installation of structures for the energy sector.   At the other end of the scale we have also created and installed a Peter Rabbit-themed arch, solar lamps and steel sculptures for the children’s area at Redcar Cemetery which has been a very rewarding job.”

Steel River Fabrications is now settled in its workshop on Markse’s Longbeck Industrial Estate and growing the team in order to meet demand.

Martin began his career with small local fabrication firms before moving on to the steelworks then the HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier in Rosyth and spending  eight years in the UK and Norwegian offshore sectors.

“I have wanted to set up my own business for some time and my nine year old twin boys helped to give me the push I needed after asking when I was going to get a job at home rather than offshore,” he said. “Despite the hard work and some days being frantically busy I can really see a good future for both my business and my family life.

“Having another qualified engineer on board is making all the difference and I also wanted to give someone the chance of an apprenticeship because I owe a lot to mine.  I know there are many good people in this area looking for that opportunity.

“The working capital loan that UKSE provided has given me the confidence to take the business on to the next stage of its development.”

Peter Taylor, Business Development Manager for UKSE, the Tata Steel business-support subsidiary, said: “The early stages of a new business are challenging and we know from experience what a big difference a relatively small investment at that stage can make.  UKSE can provide financial packages of up to £1m but smaller loans from our Regeneration Fund also play a vital part in helping companies like Steel River Fabrications grow and create jobs.”