A WELDING company is looking to grow its turnover of £1m to £2.5m in the next three years, even though its existence in the North East came about as pure accident.
Washington-based Welding Engineers was only set up in 2009, but has already achieved its three-year plan to reach annual revenues of £500,000.
It’s now looking to more than double its annual sales by 2015 as a result of soaring demand for its range of industrial security gates and shutters from across England and Scotland.
The Manchester-based company, which has offices nationwide, is primarily a repair and service centre, but also has a manufacturing role.
It has achieved sales of £1m this year through servicing clients including the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Asda, Inviron and Cofely.
The operation, on Washington’s Parsons Industrial Estate, has seen significant investment from its parent company, and now employs 12 people, a number which is set to rise in the coming months as expansion continues.
Stephen Austin, managing director of Welding Engineers, said the Sunderland operation did not form part of the company’s original plans.
He said: “We found the right guy in our manager, Michael Binnie, and he pushed us into setting up a Sunderland operation. It’s been an accident that has really paid off.
“We’re confident that we can grow our turnover to £2.5m in the next three years and at the rate we’re going we might have to look at moving into bigger premises in the next 18 months.
“Some of our other operations hire between 35 and 50 staff and that is the sort of level we’d like to have in Washington within the next few years. The markets that we’re into at the moment are very targeted, including a North East contract worth £250,000 with the MoD. We have some big clients and a very sound, blue chip customer base.
“It helps that we’re an established national firm and that has aided our initial growth in the North East, but we’ve won our own major contracts up here and we’re in a fantastic strategic position.
“We have been supported all the way by Sunderland City Council, and it has made the expansion into our sixth regional operation a really simple and straightforward process.”
Welding Engineers, which as a group sees turnover of £12m and has six regional operations around the UK, has been supported in its move into Washington, and in its ongoing expansion, by Sunderland City Council’s business investment team.
Coun Henry Trueman, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Welding Engineers has established a very successful base in Sunderland, which has grown phenomenally since they first came to our city. They are creating valuable skilled work and are an excellent addition to our multi-sectored business community of which we are already very proud.
“We’re very pleased we have been able to support Welding Engineers, and will continue to do so in any way we can in the years ahead.”