City steel firm marks 40th anniversary with expansion

Published 11th August 2014 at 10:32am

An independent engineering firm is set to recruit 11 new members of staff, and safeguard a further three jobs, thanks to a grant from the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.

Mayflower Engineering Ltd, based in Coleridge Road, Darnall, was established in 1974 and currently employs 72 members of staff, who deal with all aspects of the engineering business from design through to installation.

The company, which is fighting back after being badly affected by the recession, is now celebrating after being successful in gaining £82k of funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP’s) Regional Growth Fund.

That money will cover 20 per cent of the cost of two vital new pieces of equipment – a plasma and flame cutter for cutting through mild steel, and a press brake for bending pieces of steel or aluminium.

The news comes after it was announced that the Sheffield City Region has secured a £320m “growth deal” from the Government, which will create more than 28,000 jobs and training for 40,000 people.

This is the fifth-largest sum to be secured of the 39 LEPs within the country.

Councillor Leigh Bramall, Sheffield City Council’s cabinet member for business, skills and development, said that the expansion of Mayflower Engineering was not only good news for the company, but for the city.

He said:

“Creating new jobs in our city is always good news, but it is particularly heartening to hear that an independent steel firm is using the funding available to them to keep up to date with the latest advances in technology.

“I am also delighted that this good news comes in the company’s 40th anniversary year, and will empower them to move forward and create a strong, sound company for the future.”

Kevan Bingham, managing director of Mayflower Engineering, said:

“Like many small, independent firms, we were hit hard by the recession, and plans that we had in place for growth have had to be adapted and rethought as a result.

“Although the company is now well on the way to recovery, what we badly need now is the money to enable us to put into place our new and innovative ideas, in order to modernise and expand even further.

“This grant funding from the LEP will enable us to implement new ideas that have been formulated over the course of this year and also, most importantly, enable us not only to save existing jobs but create new ones.”

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Thanks to this grant funding from the Regional Growth Fund, Mayflower Engineering will be able to keep at the forefront of modern technology and operate at the cutting edge of the steel industry.

The company will also be able to enter new markets and enhance its product range by using plant machinery with an increased capability.

The new cutting machine will be between three and 10 times faster than the current machine, while the new press brake will be able to bend thinner materials much more accurately.

James Newman, chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said:

“It is great news that Mayflower Engineering Ltd will be able to substantially upgrade its equipment and also recruit new staff thanks to our grant funding.

“The LEP bid for, and secured this funding on a competitive basis. Since then we have set about securing the maximum value for public money, and in doing so, supporting in as many companies as possible to invest and grow.”

The funding has come from the LEP’s “Unlocking Business Investment” programme, which has seen £32m allocated to the city region in central Government funding.

Around £29m of that fund has already been allocated, while £3m is still available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that plan to create sustainable, private sector employment in the Sheffield City Region.

For the remainder of this programme, significant expenditure must have taken place by March next year and the balance of investment together with all jobs, must be in place by March 2016.

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