A Tredegar engineering firm has a new management team in place to launch its £600,000 expansion programme underpinned by UK Steel Enterprise.
M&J Europe’s new team is to oversee the ambitious plans for growth of the family-run firm, which, using its funding package, aims to break the £3 million turnover ceiling in three years.
In 2017 the Tafarnaubach factory is to be expanded, a new fabrication ‘brake’ press and new ‘mobile workshop’ vehicles purchased, and a research and development department launched. M&J is also to continue its development of control automation technology to help customers automate in the drive towards efficiency.
The family-run business was established in 1990 by Mike and Jasmin Garland and son Chris. As Mike draws back from day-to-day management, his son Chris moves to Managing Director, and experienced engineer Mark Davies has joined as Sales and Operations Manager. Rhys Morgan is an expert in Control and Automation and Ed Percy brings considerable health and safety knowledge.
Last year M&J Europe became the first Welsh company to benefit from the Welsh Government’s SME Repayable Fund, receiving a £150,000 loan. Tata Steel subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise, which has invested in M&J Europe for 20 years, provided funding of £100,000. HSBC made a £160,000 investment and a further £200,000 was raised through Asset Finance, making an overall package of over £600,000.
Last year saw exponential growth of 50%, with turnover rising to £1.9 million. According to Mike Garland, the business plan foresees this reaching £3 million in three years, in which time staffing will rise by 10 to 30.
“I am confident with the backing we have, the new team, alongside the existing highly skilled, dedicated and loyal workforce, will take the business to new heights,” he said. “We are very grateful for the support we have received from the Welsh Government.
“The long-term support we have received from UK Steel Enterprise has been exceptional. They have been providing financial support for 20 years and have helped to get us where we are today. HSBC has also played an important role in this recent expansion and we appreciate their continued assistance.”
M&J Europe is one of the UK’s largest designers and manufacturers of material handling equipment. The firm builds and installs conveyor belt systems, and provides maintenance contracts. Customers include Welsh-based firms Brace’s Bakery, Rockwool, Eurobond, Westdale Press, Frog Bikes and SAS International, and further afield Dairy Crest and Siniat.
Martin Palmer, Regional Executive with UK Steel Enterprise, said: “UKSE has worked with M&J Europe since the business started, and has kept in close contact over the years. It is a great example of the ongoing relationship we like to have with clients”.
“We get to understand their business and their aims and are then able to move quickly to offer support when it is needed, to take advantage of opportunities that help create jobs. We wish the new team every success in achieving their plans.”
Phil Sargeant, HSBC’s Area Director for South Wales, commented: “HSBC has worked with M&J Europe for the past two years and in that time we’ve seen the business go from strength to strength. This latest finance package will be used to purchase new machinery and build an extension at its site in Tredegar, which in turn will help the business achieve its ambitious turnover projections.”
Photo Caption: Moving forward: from left Mark Davies M&J Europe, Martin Palmer UK Steel Enterprise, Mike Garland M&J Europe and Joel Dunning HSBC.