Well-known Coventry engineering name re-born after £4.2m investment

2 mins read

A well-known Coventry engineering name has been re-born after a £4.2m investment and is looking to expand.

Penso Group, which was based in Woodhams Road off Siskin Drive, went into liquidation in May 2021 due to a combination of Covid-19, the fall in demand for the production of new aeroplanes and taxis, and a global shortage of semi-conductors it needed to produce lightweight pods for the home delivery sector.

Directors Jevon Thurston-Thorpe and Dave Roche contacted the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub as part of their plans to establish a new business in the wake of the liquidation of the previous group of companies.

The expert team at the CWLEP Growth Hub helped Penso Consultancy Ltd, Penso Composite and Penso Manufacturing secure a 29,000 sq ft Technical Centre in Westwood Way, Westwood Heath, and help secure targeted Covid-19 support from the Business Support Team at Coventry City Council which assisted the new company to get off the ground.

The three businesses have also received £4.2m investment from the McDermott Group and currently employ a total of 45 people with Darren McDermott taking office as chairman of the Group, and Iain Muir as commercial director.

Jevon Thurston-Thorpe, a director at Penso Consulting Ltd, said orders were beginning to flow in and the Growth Hub is helping them in their search for a new manufacturing facility within the Coventry and Warwickshire area.

He said: “It was really difficult when Penso Consulting went into liquidation because we had built up so much expertise and relationships, and the Growth Hub and Ian Flynn from Invest in Coventry & Warwickshire helped us in a number of ways because they had a deep understanding of our business and knowledge of the local commercial space available.

“We have secured a new facility at Westwood Way which is an ideal fit for our Consultancy business, where we focus on design, analysis and prototype build. We are also driving to grow Penso Composite specialising in lightweight structures and pressed formed carbon fibre, and with Penso Manufacturing we are really hoping to grow our Low and Zero emission purpose-built taxi production together with launching a range of ‘Penso Bespoke’ products that will leverage our unique skills.

“We expect to see significant growth in the business in the next 12 months and hope to employ around 100 plus staff across the three businesses by the end of next year. The McDermott Group has brought in new capabilities that we didn’t have in the past, as well as the huge investment, and our mission is to grow Penso to exceed the size of business we were previously.”

Justine Chadwick, account manager at the CWLEP Growth Hub, said there is a great skills base in the city in the automotive sector for Penso to tap into.

“Coventry and Warwickshire has a global reputation for its expertise in the automotive sector whether that is in skills or manufacturing which is playing a part in Penso’s plans for the future,” she said.

“It is great the Growth Hub has played a part in finding a big enough space to incorporate all the different elements of the new Penso business and our specialists are now on the hunt for a new base in the area to help the business realise its growth potential.

“We are also making sure they are aware of all the networking opportunities that are available which is key to strengthening all aspects of the business.”

Cllr Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change at Coventry City Council, said: “It’s great to see Penso back with their strong ambition in the rapidly growing green automotive sector.

"Coventry and Warwickshire has a rich manufacturing heritage matched only by its ambition to lead the green industrial revolution. But this is only possible thanks to companies like Penso who are investing in the future of their workforce with their eye on creating new job opportunities.”