Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cable Tells Fastest 50 Winners: We Need You

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cable Tells Fastest 50 Winners: We Need You

Article excerpt

Byline: Iain Laing

AMBITIOUS Wilton Engineering Services (WES) scored a notable hat-trick at the 2010 Ward Hadaway Fastest 50 Awards as it pursues its aim of more than doubling in size to become a pounds 100m firm in five years.

The Middlesbrough-based offshore and petrochemical industry specialist not only won the awards for fastestgrowing North East company for 2010 and the region's fastest-growing large company for 2010, but its sector was highlighted by guest speaker Vince Cable as one of the key areas to lead the region's economic revival.

The award, handed over by the business secretary at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead on Friday, caps a memorable year for WES, which provides bespoke fabrications and associated services to the subsea, marine, offshore and renewable energy industries.

In June this year the 16-year-old company secured a pounds 16m investment from Barclays Private Equity for a significant minority stake in the business.

It pushed its turnover from pounds 37m to pounds 42m and hopes it will reach pounds 100m in the next five years with an ambitious plan to buy more companies and move further into the renewables and nuclear sectors.

WES has grown rapidly over the past decade to employ 200 staff in Middlesbrough and 200 more in Aberdeen and is planning to use its latest investment to acquire other companies as well as grow organically by expanding market share in the UK and overseas.

Chief executive officer Bill Scott said: "We didn't expect to win these awards, but they just show that the effort everyone has put in over the years has really paid off and being recognised as the fastest-growing company in the North East is fantastic.

"I think this success is due to the strategic planning and hard work from everyone and the acquisitions we have made over the last three years have also helped.

"This is just the start. We had a plan and stuck to it and I believe we can reach our targets going ahead."

Other winners at the Ward Hadaway Fastest 50 Awards were Durham-based UK Independent Medical, which provides independent medical evidence to the insurance and legal industries in England and Wales and won the fastest-growing medium business award, and cable installation specialist ICS Integrated Cable Services, which has helped to fit out landmark buildings across the UK and was named fastest-growing small business of 2010.

The winning companies were revealed before an audience of 150 business leaders at Six Restaurant on the top floor of the Baltic.

Vince Cable, secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, was the keynote speaker at the prestigious event which is backed by The Journal.

Dr Cable spoke of his delight at addressing what he described as a very positive occasion and said that companies such as those in the Ward Hadaway Fastest 50 were crucial to the success of the North East economy. …

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