A team of North East entrepreneurs have launched a new manufacturing business in North Tyneside following help from North Tyneside Business Factory and a £50,000 Virgin StartUp loan.

Stephen Hornby (44), Michael Thompson (35) and Martin Stokoe (41) have launched Expert Precision Engineering from their new base in Benton Business Park to manufacture parts on behalf of the oil and gas, aerospace, marine and automotive industry.

The business has been launched with support from the Business Factory and a £50,000 loan from Virgin StartUp, the government-backed low-cost business loan designed to help entrepreneurs gain access to the capital they need to launch new enterprises in the region.

Stephen Hornby, co-founder of Expert Precision Engineering said: “Together we have decades of experience in the manufacturing and engineering sector and we wanted to create a new company that can take advantage of our skills to deliver a quality service with real growth potential.

“We are able to manufacture precision parts using CNC machines to customer supplied drawings and work one-to-one with clients from all over the UK to ensure the final product meets their specifications. We each have specific roles within the business based on our experience with Martin and Michael managing the manufacturing and technical aspects of the operation leaving me to manage Quality and the other support functions.

“Our leased premises are 3200 sq ft and plans are to grow the business year on year.  We have five members of staff currently and our aim is to purchase a new machine every six months to increase our manufacturing capacity steadily and grow our workforce.

“With a number of contracts already in place, particularly in the oil and gas industry, we are confident that our long-term business plans to develop Expert Precision Engineering will be achieved and we are already looking ahead to expand our team further.”

Expert Precision Engineering have used Virgin StartUp as a finance option to maintain cashflow during the early stages of the business and purchase equipment and machinery essential to successful trading.  Virgin StartUp is exclusively delivered in the North East by TEDCO Business Support.

The new base at Benton Business Park houses every aspect of the business, including manufacturing and back-office functions.  The team offer a sub-contracting service to manufacture parts and currently have contracts in place with a number of clients from across a range of industry sectors.

The team worked with business advisor Tracy Clarkson from the Business Factory to help develop long-term business plans and source premises within North Tyneside that were suitable for their overall needs.

Stephen comments: “Tracy has been a great support in helping with a range of business needs including searching for premises and business planning and it was clear from the outset that her insight extended to so many different areas of starting and running a business.  We have appreciated her support in accessing the finance we needed from Virgin StartUp and look forward to continuing our relationship with the Business Factory as the business grows.”

The Business factory is funded by the ERDF and delivered by TEDCO Business Support in North Tyneside.  It is dedicated to offering assistance to new and growing businesses across all areas of private and social enterprise.

Tracy Clarkson, Business Advisor at the Business Factory said: “It was clear from my first meeting with the team that this was a business with real potential, started and managed by individuals with a clear vision for its success.  I am delighted they chose to stay in North Tyneside and invest in the area with a manufacturing business offering potential future jobs and growth.  The team have been a real pleasure to work with and I wish them the best of luck for the future of Expert Precision Engineering.”