Sept 2014 – LBBC moves into new £1.5m manufacturing facility with LEP support
With support from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), a world-leading engineering firm based in Leeds has moved into new purpose-built manufacturing premises as part of a process of continuous investment that aims to push sales growth to £10 million and beyond.
Work on the new 15,000 sq ft facility in Stanningley, Leeds, was completed at the end of August, following an eight-month build period managed by Triton Construction. The new premises feature 10,000 sq ft of manufacturing space for assembly, testing and development, plus 5,000 sq ft of modern office space.
The £1.5 million investment has been supported by a £130,000 grant from the LEP’s business growth programme. Funded through the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, the business growth programme is designed to help businesses expand and create jobs. It offers grants of between £10,000 and £500,000 to SMEs to cover up to 20% of the cost of capital investment in new premises, fit outs and equipment.
LBBC Technologies is a division of the £8.5 million turnover LBBC Group. It is a world leader in the supply of autoclave systems and related engineering activities used in a range of high pressure applications and environments.
The company recently supplied equipment worth over £1 million to Rolls-Royce for its new blades casting facility in Rotherham, one of the most advanced investment casting foundries in the world. Other clients include BAE Systems, and over 70 per cent of the firm’s sales go to export markets in the US, Russia, China, Asia and Europe.
Sister division LBBC Beechwood focuses on sub-contract activities of machining, dished heads and fabrication for the domestic market. With specialist capability and approvals to undertake pressure vessel manufacture and fabrication for the USA and China, LBBC Beechwood is well placed to work with UK partners as a key supplier to these markets.
Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership said: “The Leeds City Region is a major centre within the UK for advanced engineering and the LEP is delighted to support this investment in new testing and development facilities, which will enable LBBC to continue as a global leader in its field.
“As the largest manufacturing centre in the country, the sector has a key role to play in driving above-trend growth and jobs as part of our strategy to develop the Leeds City Region as a powerhouse for the UK economy.”
The group currently employs a workforce of 70 and managing director Howard Pickard sees scope for further growth across both divisions of the group: “We’re aiming for £10 million turnover and there’s potential to go beyond that. In the process, we expect to increase the number and calibre of the people we employ.”
“The new facility for LBBC Technologies is critical to our strategy going forward, with the need for continuous investment in product development and testing to support highly specialised projects and maintain our position as global leaders in sectors such as investment casting. The new premises are now home to LBBC Technologies, providing space for our sister division LBBC Beechwood to expand into existing facilities on the site.”
LBBC, originating as the Leeds and Bradford Boiler Company Ltd is a long-established family-owned business and has been located at its current site in Stanningley, Leeds, since 1876. Howard Pickard and his brother Robert are the fifth generation of their family to run the business.
Cllr Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council and Chair of the LEP’s investment panel said: “Manufacturing remains an important sector for the Leeds economy, employing around 30,000 people and punching well above it weight both in terms of output and productivity. The investment by LBBC and its plans for continued growth are excellent news for the company and its workforce.”