A new company which specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of precast concrete flooring systems has taken up residence on the former Rio Tinto smelter site at Ashington, and has invested more than £1m in the space.
Lynx Precast Limited – which supplies into the residential, commercial and industrial construction sectors – chose to set up on the site, which is owned by brownfield regeneration company Harworth Estate.
The firm launched in January 2014 and chose the 140,000 sq ft facility for its range of large-scale industrial buildings and room for its production equipment.
Lynx’s managing director Andy Teasdale and his business partner Paul Cutler have invested more than £1m in the new plant which also produces beam and block flooring and insulated flooring systems.
To aid its launch, Lynx received £262,800 from the Northumberland Business Growth programme which is funded by the Regional Growth Fund and delivered by Arch in conjunction with Northumberland County Council.
Lynx Precast managing director, Andy Teasdale, said: “It’s been an amazing start for the business and fantastic to realise my ambition to create a large scale precast flooring production facility that manufactures both T beams and hollowcore slab in the region.
“We are using the very latest software, manufacturing techniques and equipment and feel very confident that we can consistently design and manufacture products to the very highest standards. The construction industry is steadily recovering after being hard hit during the recession and our order book reflects that.
“We’ve got some fantastic customers ranging from independent housebuilders looking for bespoke flooring solutions to major regional and national developers including Bellway, Persimmon and Esh Group, builders’ merchants and groundworks specialists.”
Lynx now has a workforce of 28 including draftsmen, estimators, technicians, fabricators and installers, and estimates turnover of £6m in 2016.
The two founders bring more than 44 years of industry expertise to the business.
Mr Teasdale was one of the founders of Spancast Concrete Floors, which was sold in 2008 and Mr Cutler runs CB Precast in Hudderfield.
Lynx is working with Morpeth-based hauliers Sanray Freight and sources its high specification concrete from H Mix which has invested over £600,000 in a plant adjacent to the Lynx operation.
Since January, Raymond Hare, managing director at Sanray Freight has invested £200,000 in two new trucks and £85,000 in four ‘rear-wheel-steer’ trailers to deliver Lynx products across the North East.
He said: “The business suffered when the recession bit in 2008. At the time, the bulk of our contracts came from the construction and oil and gas industries.
“Teaming up with Lynx Precast together with the construction industry picking up has been a blessing for us. We’ve been able to re-invest in our fleet which gives us greater flexibility and also enables us to meet the time critical nature of Lynx Precast deliveries.”
Coun Dave Ledger, chair of Arch and deputy leader of Northumberland County Council, added: “Lynx Precast provides a perfect illustration of why we used RGF to set up the Northumberland Business Growth programme.
“Andy and Paul had a terrific concept that very clearly had the potential to create employment. Thanks to their entrepreneurship and supported by RGF, Lynx Precast has already exceeded the number of jobs we envisaged when the grant was awarded. It’s especially pleasing also to see other local firms such as Sanray Freight benefit as a consequence of the support provided to Lynx Precast.”