Two Teessiders who faced unemployment following the closure of SBV Engineering are now reaping the rewards of taking a bold decision to start their own business with backing from UK Steel Enterprise.
INDUSTRO Solutions, set up just over a year ago by John Betts and Joanne Bell, is already seeing demand grow for its engineering services, winning impressive contracts and creating new jobs.
The company provides a range of specialist services from design engineering, steel fabrication, site erection and dismantling, structural inspection and repairs as well as maintenance support in the form of highly-skilled labour.
Based in UK Steel Enterprise’s Innovation Centre on the Kirkleatham Business Park at Redcar, the partners also secured a loan of £7,500 from UKSE’s Regeneration Fund to help with start-up costs.
INDUSTRO Solutions has already taken on 10 former SBV and SSI workers and expects the team to grow again in the coming months. The company has been busy beyond expectations with new contracts and interest from companies in a wide range of sectors from across Teesside and beyond.
The recent acquisition of a drone is attracting new business as it plays a valuable role in structural inspection allowing clients to get a clear and safe picture of the condition of their site assets such as chimney stacks, lighting towers and storage tanks.
Joanne Bell was HR Manager for SBV for four years and John Betts was Site Services Manager there for eight years.
“We were both affected by the SBV closure but had confidence that the combination of our skills and experience in the sector and excellent working relationships would give us a solid base for a dynamic and successful business,” said John Betts. “We are extremely encouraged by the progress the business has made in a relatively short timescale.
“UK Steel Enterprise has been very pragmatic and approachable throughout and we are grateful for their support.”
Joanne Bell added: “There is so much to think about with a new business and we really benefitted from UK Steel Enterprise’s advice as well as the funding. The team pulled out all the stops to get us moved into the Innovation Centre and were also able to find us additional workshop and office space as the business grew. We are also grateful to the SSI Task Force for providing funding,” she added.
Sarah Thorpe, Area Manager for UK Steel Enterprise, the Tata Steel business-support subsidiary, said: “We are glad that we were able to help INDUSTRO Solutions with a Regeneration Fund loan and with premises which are both specifically designed to help start-up and early stage businesses. The company is doing extremely well in a short space of time and we wish them every success.”
Details of UK Steel Enterprise’s support for businesses is available on 01642 777 777. INDUSTRO Solutions is on 01642 777 708.
Photo: (from left) Sarah Thorpe of supporter UK Steel Enterprise with John Betts and Joanne Bell of INDUSTRO Solutions at the Innovation Centre.