Jobs joy as exporter expands
jobs have been secured and four more created at a Truro firm
embarking on a big expansion programme to boost its competitiveness
in the global market place.
Arcol UK Ltd, Britain's sole surviving manufacturer
of aluminium-housed resistors, has struggled in the face of
rival production costs in countries where wages are a fraction
of those here.
Now potential factory efficiency savings of up to 30 per
cent will be achieved by a £180,000 redevelopment programme,
involving the complete reworking of production flow, construction
of a factory extension and purchase of new machinery to increase
capacity. This will enable Arcol, based on the Truro's
Threemilestone Industrial Estate, not only to tackle international
competition head-on but also to expand its product range.
The breakthrough has been made possible by the plugging of
a funding gap with a £50,000 interest-free loan from
the South West Investment Group's (SWIG) Business Growth
Fund secured by the business development arm of Truro based
The projected efficiency savings and capacity increases were
identified by working in partnership with Business Link and
the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service to improve the
company's working practices.
"We export to more than 40 countries worldwide
and this development is hugely significant because it means
we will now be able to compete with overseas companies on
something closer to a level playing field," said
managing director Mike Pritchard.
Mr Pritchard and co-director Alun Morgan took over the business
in a management buyout five years ago. Originally founded
in 1952, Arcol has established a reputation as a specialist
manufacturer and supplier of power resistors, with exports
currently accounting for just over 50 per cent of total turnover
of £2 million.
Typical applications into which Arcol products have been
designed include auxiliary power devices, power generation
and distribution, motor drives, power suppliers and protection
circuits. Ewan McClymont, Bishop Fleming business development
manager, commented: "We have worked closely with
Arcol for the last 20 years and are delighted to have helped
them access the vital funding support from SWIG."
John Peters, fund manager at SWIG, said Mike and Alun had
excelled at driving Arcol forward on a world stage, adding:
"We are delighted that our Objective One-backed
funds will help them to expand further and beat competition
Arcol is one of a small number of Cornish companies to be
awarded Beacon status by the South West Regional Development
Agency. The award recognised Arcol's commitment to culture
change and their introduction of advanced manufacturing techniques.
Beacon companies are recognised as being among the most forward-thinking
and ambitious in the region, playing an important role in
cultivating the South West's enterprise excellence culture.
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The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in the South West Investment
Group through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
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