Heat pump business expands
Graduate Chris Stephens has been helping a successful Falmouth-based,
environmentally friendly business expand.
Chris, 28, was taken on under the Unlocking Cornish Potential
(UCP) scheme and has now completed his first year at Kensa
Engineering Ltd. His employers are so impressed they are going
to recruit a second UCP graduate to work alongside him. The
company says he has helped to increase sales as well as make
the company more efficient so more time is available for research,
development and marketing.
Kensa is the UK's only manufacturer of a full range
of ground source heat pumps, a renewable energy product that
provides space heating for homes and buildings.
UCP is a scheme that places graduates with businesses. Run
by Cornwall College, the Combined Universities in Cornwall
project has received Objective One investment and provides
subsidised wages and a mentor for each graduate for up to
Chris, who was born in Cornwall and graduated from Swansea
University with both a Bachelors (BEng) and Masters (MRes)
degree in Materials Science and Engineering, said: "I
wanted to return to Cornwall. The aim of my project was to
assist in finding new applications and providing technical
and sales support for a fast expanding renewable energy product
manufacturer. My engineering qualifications were actually
much more research specific, but my role with Kensa has enabled
me to develop a multitude of real-life business and manufacturing
skills, most of which are now utilised at a management level.
The relatively small size of the company has allowed me to
gain an in-depth knowledge, not just of our products, but
also of the manufacturing industry as a whole."
Chris was taken on in November 2004 and in the year has
developed an Applications Department, which helps to filter
sales and technical enquiries through all stages of a client's
project. This helps to ensure that the company's products
are applied and installed correctly, generating good case
studies and helping to protect the reputation of both the
brand and the UK heat pump market as a whole. He has also
been able to develop other skills relevant to a busy manufacturing
organisation, including general management duties, marketing
Richard Freeborn, managing director of Kensa said: "The
Company has gained the skills and expertise of a top level
engineering graduate, the direct impact of which can be seen
by increased sales and decreased lead times on products to
market. This is because more of the technical issues surrounding
the specification of Kensa's products can be discussed
with the customers and dealt with at an earlier stage in the
project. Quicker response times for technical enquiries has
helped to reduce the time to order, the overall effect has
been to free up additional time in other areas of the business
for marketing, awareness raising, and more research and design.
"Unlocking Cornish Potential has found us a graduate
who is multi-disciplined, self-motivated and now an integral
and essential part of the company and its operations. This
level of graduate is hard to come by in the South West, but
essential to aid the progression of small and medium enterprises
such as Kensa, and hopefully his work with the company will
aid our growth enormously."
Allyson Glover, of Unlocking Cornish Potential, said: "Chris
has joined Kensa Engineering Ltd at a pivotal point in the
growth of the business and has developed a department that
is essential in taking the company to the next stage. We are
now looking for another graduate of Chris's calibre to expand
his department. Kensa is going to be a big player in renewable
energy products and I'm sure will continue to grow at a rapid
For further information please contact Clare Morgan on 01872
223439 or email: email@example.com.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in the Unlocking Cornish Potential
project through the European Social Fund (ESF).
The main product Kensa design and manufacture is a renewable
heating appliance that is used in both domestic and commercial
sector buildings. However, Kensa also design and manufacture
bespoke systems for the marine industry.
The company has been in operation for seven years, with a
total of 11 employees.
With rising fuel prices and the public's increasing
energy awareness, there has been an urgent need for alternative
fuel sources (According to DTI statistics, overall the price
paid for fuel in real terms in the UK rose by 10.6 per cent
between the third quarter of 204 and the third quarter 2005.
In November 2005 the average cost of crude oil acquired by
refineries was 40% higher than the same time in 2004). See
With Kensa's products leading the field for easy to
install, economic and energy efficient heating appliances
the company has had to undergo rapid expansion to keep up
with ever increasing demand for its products. In particular,
the company required an engineer to help specify appropriate
products to customers to ensure that the technology is applied
UCP has supported over 130 similar business development projects
in the last 2 years and will continue to bring companies and
graduates together until the end of the current Objective
UCP programmes place graduates with small and medium sized
businesses in Cornwall and can last for up to 12 months. Investment
in UCP through Objective One means that participating businesses
receive 30% of the cost of taking on their graduate for the
duration of the project. Graduates and their employers also
receive support from an independent mentor, 70% of previous
UCP graduates have been offered a permanent position with
their host company at the end of the project. UCP was the
first project launched by the Combined Universities in Cornwall
(CUC) initiative to offer direct business support. It is managed
by Cornwall College.
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439