Lynx Precast Limited, a new company that specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of precast concrete flooring systems for the UK construction industry, has taken up residence at the former Rio Tinto smelter site in Ashington.
The company is the only hollowcore slab manufacturer in the North East. It chose the site, which is now owned by brownfield regeneration company, Harworth Estates, due to its strategic location and the range of large-scale industrial buildings.
The 140,000sqft facility is perfect for housing its state-of-the-art production equipment along with extensive storage facilities and 24 hour security.
Andy Teasdale, managing director of Lynx Precast and his business partner Paul Cutler has invested over £1 million pounds in the new plant, which also produces beam and block flooring and insulated flooring systems.
In setting up the new plant, Lynx was awarded £262,800 from the Northumberland Business Growth programme. Designed to create jobs, the programme was funded by the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) and delivered by Arch in conjunction with Northumberland County Council.
Since launching in January 2014, Lynx Precast has increased its workforce to 28 and has a projected turnover of £6 million in 2016. The team includes draftsmen, estimators, technicians, fabricators and installers.
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.”
Together, Andy and Paul bring over 44 years of industry expertise to the business.
Andy was one of the founders of Spancast Concrete Floors which was sold to a large PLC in 2008. The friends teamed up when Andy wanted to set up his own precast concrete manufacturing operation in the North East.
Meanwhile, Paul, who runs CB Precast in Huddersfield, was looking for a dedicated manufacturing facility to ensure security of supply for precast flooring products.
Andy, who lives in Morpeth, is also passionate about employing local people and supporting other Northumberland-based businesses through the supply chain.
The company sources its high specification concrete from H Mix which has invested over £600,000 in constructing a large-capacity plant adjacent to the Lynx operation.
Lynx Precast is also working closely with Morpeth-based hauliers; Sanray Freight, based at Coopies Lane Industrial Estate.
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 Precast products to sites across the UK.
Working with Lynx Precast has helped him to secure the future of the company. 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.”
Councillor 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.”