Firms in bloom are eating up the space across the North

Firms in bloom are eating up the space across the North

A flurry of extension and relocations hints at business flowering after a difficult spell.

Outstandingly at Peterlee, GT engineering group has doubled the size of its site – taking premises next to its advanced manufacturing plant at Whitehouse Business Park. Chairman Geoff Turnbull’s group, a specialist in emission reduction products for industrial vehicles, exports to 60 countries now.

Those sales, bringing 80% of turnover, grew by 25% over the past year. Floor space has been increased by 50,000sq ft to cope with 35% growth in turnover expected in 2014.
At Blaydon, Owen Pugh Group has opened a new £900k depot to expand its civil engineering. This arm, Owen Pugh GDC, works on drainage, environment, flood alleviation, coastal and river works and urban regeneration for councils and utility companies. Now it will operate from a three acre site on Factory Road.

The acquisition, backed by a £750,000 finance package from HSBC’s North East corporate team, follows growth in the division showing turnover up from £4m in 2008/2009 to £13m likely in this financial year.

Chairman John Dickson says: “An extension and refurbishment of existing facilities would not have been a satisfying long-term solution. Now there will be more space for organising and servicing vehicles and their crews, more room for plant and equipment and for expanding the range and quantity of parts and materials held in stock.  Additional office space will facilitate growth in engineering and project management teams.”

The riverfront site - 15,800sq ft of office and storage space plus parking - will also give HCS Drain Services, the group’s drainage arm based in Stockton, a northern hub. Later the premises, formerly owned by civil engineering and building materials supplier Burdens, will also be home to Owen Pugh’s construction business now at the group’s Dudley headquarters.

Meanwhile BW Medical Accountants, which opened in Newcastle last July, has relocated to 6,000sq ft BW House at Gosforth Business Park, the new head office also for sister company Blackett Walker.

Following an investment of over £1m by Blackett Walker Ltd to launch BW Medical and buy the new head office, the company now has more than 180 medical clients across the UK. It estimates that fewer than half of GP practices are currently supported by specialist medical accountants.

In Sunderland, BMS Electrical Services has taken a second unit at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), five years after moving onto the Wearfield site.
The company designs, manufactures, installs and commissions electrical process systems for industries ranging from power and water to food and drink. Its North East clients include

Greggs and Port of Tyne Authority. The £1.4m turnover firm plans to add more staff to its 10 existing, and credits support from Sunderland City Council. In the south of the region, new homes have been found for two businesses on Middlesbrough’s Riverside Park.

The deals, for Gullwing Fund 2, owner of the buildings on Mickleton Road, bring in Steve Brettle Fabrications and Restore plc.

Steve Brettle Fabrications (SBF), a long established Middlesbrough firm, was previously in Bowes Road.

The company has bought a 11,116sq ft unit, doubling its floor space. It specialises in pipe supports, tank repairs, access platforms, safety gates, stairways and ladders.

Restore, a London-based office support service with presence across the UK, has signed a 10 year lease on a 12,086sq ft unit. This augments its existing base at Stockton. Sanderson Weatherall were the chartered surveyors behind the deal. Joint agent is Storeys ES.

At Newton Aycliffe , marine engineers Tekmar Energy will have a second factory from June – only yards from its existing home. It is switching some production to a former Tetley Tea warehouse, hoping to create more jobs too.

Further down the A1, at Richmond, family run welding machine manufacturer Lamba Welding Systems has relocated to premises five times bigger (20,000sq ft) within Gallowfields Estate, as it celebrates a £1m contract win.
The firm supplies businesses making temporary fencing worldwide for sporting and entertainment events.

Its £1m order is from a North-East industrial flooring manufacturer serving the energy and offshore sector. Lamba earlier supplied for the London Olympics.