Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Teamwork at UK Steel

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Teamwork at UK Steel

Article excerpt

An expanding Thornaby company, backed by UK Steel Enterprise, is playing a part in providing safe homes for dolphins thanks to its unique waterproofing system.

John T Metcalfe Ltd is taking on an additional three employees to help its 18-strong workforce meet the growing world-wide demand for its Metflex system, used to waterproof structures from aquariums and railway platforms to military vehicles and chemical containers.

"Demand is growing right across the board but dolphinariums and car parks are areas that are growing particularly strongly," says John Metcalfe, who set up the company with his wife Denise.

"We are currently working on dolphinariums in France and Egypt," he said, "and there is a lot of interest coming from this sector in the USA. We have also just finished two car park projects in Newcastle - at the Freeman Hospital and the Gate complex.

" We are really pleased with the way things are going and without the UKSE investment we would never have been in a position to exploit the potential of this product. We were introduced to UKSE by our financial adviser Terry Truran and it has proved to be a successful team."

The company secured a pounds 150,000 investment, in a combination of equity and Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme funding, from UK Steel Enterprise last year.

UKSE's confidence in the company's future has been more than realised with customers such as the Ministry of Defence and the National Trust featuring the growing order book.

John T Metcalfe's range of specialist membranes prevents as well as repairs damage to concrete and other structures caused by water and chemical seepage and is tailored to each individual project.

A fraction of the cost of competitive products, it offers a number of unique properties that attract customers from many countries.

Simon Hamilton, of UK Steel Enterprise, said: "We had every confidence in this company and its product when we invested and it has been highly gratifying to see them do so well and create additional jobs for the area.

"They have developed an innovative niche product that gives the company considerable potential for growth. …

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