AN INNOVATIVE engineering company is looking to triple its turnover in the next three years with plans for more acquisitions on the back of new contract wins valued at £2m.
The Altec Engineering Group, based on the outskirts of Durham City, supplies components for some of the world’s most prestigious telescopes, via its work with the Durham Centre for Advanced Instrumentation (CfAI) at the North East Technology Park (NETPark) Sedgefield, County Durham.
Altec was originally connected to the CfAI by Business Durham, the economic development company for County Durham, which manages NETPark.
Dozens of companies were encouraged to follow in Altec’s footsteps today (Thursday March 10) at the Innovation Supply Chain Conference when they heard how they could make the most of hundreds of opportunities created by high-tech companies based at the science park.
Altec, which sponsored the conference, has 180 staff across the UK. The company has recently won contracts valued at £2m for the production of complex aerospace, oil & gas, automotive and defence components. Meanwhile the group’s special purpose division continues to win orders for production automation systems from a number of industry sectors. It is closely involved with several space science projects, including work related to the European Space Agency.
The growth of Altec, which was formed in 1978 by Ron Waite MBE as a small North East-based engineering company, was accelerated by a £6m funding boost from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) last year, which allowed it to acquire precision engineering firm, Ronco Engineering in Tanfield Lea, near Stanley; West Yorkshire-based Sigma Technologies and Quick Hydraulics in North Shields.
This year, its turnover is expected to reach £11m – and almost triple to £32m by 2019. It has an ongoing programme of recruitment and around 10 per cent of its workers are apprentices.
Paul Lackenby, business development director, at the firm said: “Our ongoing strategy remains one of continued growth and investment in complimentary technologies. Each company within the group has established a reputation for excellence in the fields within which they operate.”
Since the BGF funding, the company has made further investment in state-of-the-art CNC machine tool technology, specialist coatings technologies, additive manufacturing and a further expansion of group facilities, including those of the special purpose equipment division.
Mr Lackenby said: “Innovation is at the heart of everything the Altec Engineering Group does in terms of the way we work with and support our customers, the technologies we embrace and the processes which we develop in house to ensure the highest levels of productivity and quality.
“We also firmly believe that Innovation is key to the ongoing success of UK manufacturing, so we feel that sponsoring this conference is the perfect opportunity to reinforce our commitment to Innovation.”
Business Durham organised the sell-out conference to provide the platform to engage with local businesses, foster collaborations and help demystify the perception around the potential opportunities in the science and technology supply chain. They are opportunities which will be provided by NETPark companies both now and also in the future.
Business Durham’s innovation and business growth director, Catherine Johns, said:
“From a spin-off from Durham University to company targeting a £32m turnover, Altec has proved it has the specialist skills, innovation and quality to design and manufacture some of the world’s best components.
“There are so many companies in the North East which can hook into the supply chain of NETPark if they know how. By collaborating with local companies at an early stage, we can ensure that they are the first to benefit from the future expansion of NETPark, in turn boosting the economic productivity and prosperity in the region.
“Many companies are also thriving from the networking opportunities, support and events provided via our online community NETPark Net.”