Grimsby-based foundry Fowler & Holden, part of TGM Industrial Group, has opened a new purpose-built plant building and has enhanced and expanded its production facility at its foundry in Lincolnshire, that is set to expand its production and manufacturing capacity by up to 80%.
The move follows a £500,000 investment from NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, which is managed by FW Capital and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. Thanks to the new production facility, the company is also set to increase its headcount from 24 to 27, with plans to boost this to 40 employees across the next few years.
The news follows an influx of activity at the foundry since the pandemic began. Previously, many of its clients imported products from China and India, however in the face of international trade limitations at the height of the pandemic, the foundry saw high levels of customer demand to onshore its suppliers. Debt finance helped the business meet these demands, by investing in more space and necessary equipment to help the production line meet sustained growing demand.
Fowler & Holden’s significant growth, in site capacity and headcount, proves fundamental to the future of the UK’s status as a manufacturer and not just a service sector economy.
Elsewhere, investment has been utilised to improve Fowler & Holden’s sustainability practices. The foundry used to transport 2,500 tons of new sand from Cheshire each year and send a similar amount of waste sand to landfill each year, now this has reduced to just 500 tons. The reduction is down to investment in new machinery that recycles sand waste back to better than new sand. Elsewhere, Fowler & Holden has reduced its use of 100% new iron down to 25%, with a long-term goal to utilise 90% recycled scrap. This will reduce its use of new iron to just 10%.
Investment has ensured Fowler & Holden remains competitive in terms of their production capacity and reduction of carbon footprint.
Tim Brooksbank, Director at Fowler & Holden, said: “Expansion of the foundry is an exciting moment for Fowler & Holden, as we look to expand its capabilities, add to its team, and grow the business. At TGM Industrial Group we seek to grow our group companies as well as their employee levels, this next step for Fowler & Holden is crucial for the business, environmental credentials are crucial to our long-term plans. Whilst it goes without saying that foundries can never be completely sustainable, with the support of our NPIF and FW Capital we can now lead by example and continue to reduce our carbon footprint.’’
‘’With most of our production used for public and infrastructure projects, we are looking forward to accelerating further, with more talent onboard and with more environmentally responsible choices.’’
Toby Butcher, Portfolio Executive at FW Capital, said: ‘’The team at Fowler & Holden are making excellent progress and helping change the landscape of the UK’s manufacturing economy. Their growth is testament to how, with the correct support, businesses can expand their offerings in a sustainable way.
‘’We’re looking forward to using our own expertise and experience to help the business progress even further, with its sustainable goals and employment plans over the coming years.’’
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project (NPIF) is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.