Invest South Tyneside committed to supporting manufacturing growth

May 1, 2019

As the North East builds on its existing strengths as one of the UK’s principal locations for manufacturing to attract high-quality jobs and investment into the area, Invest South Tyneside is proactively supporting and attracting a range of businesses

South Tyneside has recently experienced a growth in the number of manufacturing companies taking advantage of its superb geographical location, range of fantastic business and enterprise hubs, effective transport links and expert workforce.

Here are two South Tyneside companies making the most of the growth opportunities in the borough’s manufacturing sector.

Borough of opportunity

In 2018, Texo Group, a leading technology and engineering services group for the global oil and gas and clean energy sectors, announced its acquisition of Hebburn-based CFS Offshore Engineering Ltd, bolstering its already existing and expansive fabrication capabilities.

Texo CFS is Texo Group’s dedicated fabrication specialists in the North East of England. From its strategically placed fabrication facility alongside the River Tyne, the company provides full class approved fabrications, vessel mobilisation and demobilisation services, and a complete turnkey engineering solution to the oil and gas and renewables sectors.

Andrew Robson, managing director at Texo CFS, says: “The North East is fast becoming an engineering and fabrication world centre of excellence for the offshore energy sector – especially in the delivery of offshore wind projects.

“We have seen unprecedented growth in opportunities within the offshore energy sector and have developed a game-changing suite of services and solutions to meet the needs of this exciting sector.”

Andrew adds: “South Tyneside is ideally placed to capitalise and benefit from the boom in this exciting market sector. We have excellent infrastructure and quayside facilities to service the needs of the sector’s key players.”

Texo CFS is well placed to continue and expand upon its already established track record in completing large projects thanks to location in South Tyneside. By taking advantage of the borough’s key assets, the company provides its clients with an unsurpassed engineering and fabrication solution in the heart of the region.

Long-term plans for growth within South Tyneside, investment by Texo Group and integration opportunities will allow the business to double in terms of revenue and headcount increase four-fold over the next four years.

The initial acquisition in 2018 and the company’s ongoing growth demonstrates the vote of confidence in the borough as a place to invest and to do business.

Energetic growth

While there are great opportunities for businesses moving into South Tyneside, those already based there are also reaping the benefits of its growing manufacturing sector and support from the council.

South Shields-based firm Metec Cathodic Protection (UK) established in 2016. Three years on, the firm is set to achieve more than £8 million turnover and increase staff numbers following a range of international contracts secured in the ship build/repair, ports and harbours, offshore renewable and oil and gas sectors.

The firm employs 37 staff, including 15 jobs saved following the closure of a local foundry in 2016. With varying skills from corrosion protection engineers, design engineers and coded welders, as well as its dedicated specialist foundry personnel, Metec has plans to increase the number of local employees throughout 2019.

Robert Forsyth, Metec UK’s commercial director, says: “Cathodic {rotection is the ‘belt and braces’ to protective coating systems and specified in most ship build/ship repair, harbour, renewable energy and offshore projects.”

The firm has recently completed work at the East Anglia and Hornsea ONE offshore wind farms and an oil and gas platform for the Statoil Perrigrino field in offshore Brazil – Statoil’s largest field outside of Norway.

Metec UK works closely with its international group partners and has specialists in Nigeria and Tunisia, who specialise in pipeline corrosion protection systems, as well as UK specialists, which allows the company to offer the skills and capacity to meet the needs of the largest offshore contracts.

Robert adds: “Our current capacity is more than 100 tonnes per week and in 2019 we’re installing a new bulk melting furnace in South Shields to further increase our capacity.

“For clients, that capacity combined with our expertise across sectors including offshore oil and gas and wind, harbour and pipeline, means that we’re uniquely placed to offer a one-stop shop, rather than them having to split the contract on a big job between suppliers.”

The company has invested heavily in South Tyneside and has reaped the benefits of engaging with support available from the council.

Robert reflects: “South Tyneside Council have been really supportive on a variety of issues as we have grown, helping us sort out any potential local issues to keep us on track. The way the council works with local businesses is so much better than what I’ve seen in other areas. We’re very lucky on that score.”

Councillor Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council, says: “I visited the Metec UK facility when it was first set up in South Tyneside. Robert and the team have achieved so much in the few years since then. A lot of this is down to the skills and talent available to expand their expertise from here in the borough.

“I’m delighted that the firm can expand and provide another welcome jobs boost for local people.

“Texo CFS and Metec are just two examples of manufacturers based in South Tyneside that are exploring opportunities for growth on an international scale.

“Having access to the right premises and skills is hugely important when deciding where to locate a manufacturing operation.

“With sites such as the International Advanced Manufacturing Park and Infinity Park, plus our partnership working with education to ensure the right skills are developed for the workforce, I am pleased to see that local companies are achieving such success.”

Invest South Tyneside
Photos: Fabrication work at Texo CFS workshop in Hebburn. Robert Forsyth (Metec UK) with Cllr Iain Malcolm (South Tyneside Council)