By Martin Walker
Middlesbrough-based family engineering firm Durham Lifting is looking to expand after enjoying an increase in turnover year-on-year since 2012.
The long-established offshore specialists have doubled staff levels as turnover has jumped 50% in two successive years to £3.9m.
Durham Lifting, based at the iconic Britannia Testouse on Riverside Park Industrial Estate, has opened a new unit on Aycliffe Business Park, in Newton Aycliffe, and also plans to open a third base – it’s currently looking for suitable locations.
The business was founded in 1996 by Frank Pickersgill and his daughter Amanda Gardiner, now managing director, starting out in a classroom-style workshop in a Shildon.
Their expansion continued in 1998 with the acquisition of Britannia Testhouse, increasing its services to include manufacturing and the testing of specialist lifting and handling equipment, as well as offshore testing to 1,250-tonne.
Its impressive test bed in Middlesbrough is the largest of its kind in the UK and holds third party approval to undertake tensile and compressive testing up to the capacity of 2,000 tonnes.
Durham Lifting has now established itself as the leading independent testing and lifting experts within its field, working for the likes of EON, Gestamp, Bridon UK and Subsea 7 along with a wide range of engineering firms across the UK.
Durham Lifting is able to design equipment in house and manufacture to order. The firm specialises in the manufacture of offshore handling equipment, lifting and modular spreader beams up to 1000 tonne, frames and specialist handling equipment.
It also runs a 24-hour breakdown service for fault finding and servicing, as well as the hire, sale, repair and test of lifting equipment such as rope slings, shackles, lifting clamps, lifting hooks, wire rope hoists, crane wires and safety equipment to name a few.
“We’ve continued to grow and invest in Teesside, we’re very proud of the area and its heritage,” says Amanda.
“We’ve supported the growth and development of Brittania Testhouse since we acquired it in 1998 and, despite some ups and downs, we’ve come out of the recession in a strong position.
“Our turnover has increased by more than 50% year-on-year and is continuing at a controllable rate. We’ve always kept our eye on the ball when it comes to the business and financial position, and we’re proud to have worked with a string of clients for over 20 years – and we thank them for their loyalty.”
Following on from the latest recession we are back In a positive position, investing in the company and its people, one of the areas that is fast becoming another point of expertise for the family firm is within the area of wind farms.
Durham Lifting has been extensively involved in supplying the lifting equipment for turbines to projects such as the prestigious London Array, the Humber Gateway and more locally the Redcar offshore wind farm amongst others.
Amanda added: “We’re always keen to work with new companies from any sector, and we’re perfectly located to do that.
“We have an experienced and skilled workforce led by a family team and management with lots of years’ experience in the business.”
• To contact Durham Lifting call 01642 240672, or to find out more go to www.durhamlifting.co.uk