Growing manufacturing and engineering business set for further expansion

3 mins read

A growing manufacturing and engineering business in Warwickshire has expanded its premises – and is already running out of room.

Precision Laser Processing (PLP), which is based at the Butlers Leap Industrial Estate in Rugby, specialises in flatbed cutting, 5-axis laser cutting and waterjet cutting, as well as providing full fabrication services.

Its customers in the aerospace, security, automotive, medical, and power generation sectors are based throughout the UK.

PLP, which is part of the Sirius A Corporation, was quickly running out of space at its 12,000 square foot premises after winning new work in the green energy and electric vehicle sectors and wanted to re-organise its factory and office space.

The 30-year-old business contacted Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub Account Manager Adam Plumb to find out if there were any grants available to help them create a mezzanine.

He put them in touch with Rugby Borough Council who assisted with a £49,000 grant from the Government’s Additional Restrictions Grant along with the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme which was part funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) who provided two grants totalling £34,323.

This financial support led to PLP creating a 2,525 square foot mezzanine and buying a high precision robotic welding machine which has created a further four jobs to take its staff numbers to 25.

Bill Boswell, Sirius A Corporation CEO, who runs the business along with Group chair Ben Cufley, said PLP has invested £150,000 in the mezzanine.

He said: “The mezzanine has been up-and-running for 12 months and has been a fantastic addition to the business. We have new offices and inspection space as well as room for the purchase of additional manufacturing equipment to accommodate a new opportunity that we secured in the green energy and electric vehicle sectors.

“Additional manufacturing equipment was required to accommodate the new order so we have bought a robotic welding machine which has increased the capabilities and capacity of our fabrication department and means we can diversify into larger volume products for our growing customers.

“Altogether we have invested around £500,000 on this site over the last 12 months and without the investment we wouldn’t have secured the new orders – we have signed one long-term contract with a customer in the hydrogen sector until 2026.

“The grants have been very much appreciated and Coventry and Warwickshire is very small business minded and I think it is among the best in the country for helping our community.

“We are already running out of space and are planning to look at units up to 3,000 square foot at nearby sites to use for storage.”

Adam Plumb, account manager at Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub, said PLP’s growing customer base underlined the need to support flourishing businesses.

“It is really important we help businesses like PLP meet their expansion plans because SMEs are the backbone of our economy,” he said.

“We are now helping PLP source further premises which they will use for storage within Warwickshire and it is fantastic that they are diversifying into new markets which are proving to be successful at securing new customers.”

Cllr Carolyn Robbins, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for finance, performance, legal and governance, said: “Working with CW Growth Hub, the council has been able to distribute nearly £1 million in Additional Restrictions Grants to support borough businesses with ambitious plans for growth.

“The grants have helped companies expand operations, invest in new equipment and create jobs, supporting fantastic success stories such as Precision Laser Processing, which has quickly reaped the benefits of investment and now has plans for further expansion.”

Kierandeep Bal, Business Development Advisor at Coventry City Council, added: “PLP has made significant investments in the business in such a short space of time which is understandably difficult to cashflow simultaneously, so I am pleased to have supported them via two separate grants through our Business Support Programme.

“PLP is an important business within Coventry and Warwickshire that make excellent contributions to high value manufacturing in the aerospace industry which is one of our key sectors in the region and globally.

"The support they have received will help the business to diversify into new markets, in particular green energy and electric vehicles whilst creating new and skilled employment opportunities across Coventry and Warwickshire. I look forward to working with the business again.”

The investment is additional to support received from the Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme in 2020 for energy efficiency improvements to the premises, which was part funded through the ERDF.

This consisted of £16,600 of grant support as part of a £41,500 investment into LED lighting, an insulated roller shutter door and UPVC double glazed windows.

The investment reduced PLP’s annual carbon footprint by 25 tonnes of CO2e per year. Their annual heating bill was reduced by around 30 per cent and the annual saving on electricity would equal savings of around £17,000 in today’s electricity prices.

The investment has already paid for itself and there are further benefits such as improved working conditions from the LED lighting.