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26.04.06
Jobs joy as exporter expands

Celebrating the funding breakthrough for major expansion at Arcol UK Ltd Thirty-seven 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 chartered accountants.

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 from abroad."

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.

For further information please contact Westcountry PR services on 01326 317147 or email mike@wprs.co.uk.

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).

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Editor's notes:

 

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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