A Staffordshire firm providing specialist equipment for the gas industry is making its mark in global markets after gaining £300,000 in funding from Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s Jobs and Growth Fund to support its growth plans.
As a result, Orbital has been able to make a £3 million investment in state-of-the-art new premises at its UK headquarters at Cold Meece, near Stone, including new research and development facilities, and aims to use the expansion as the springboard for further international growth.
The firm, which was founded in 1984, manufactures a range of metering, analysis and safety systems for the oil and gas industry. Among other business areas, it is responsible for the odourisation equipment that adds the distinctive smell to the natural gas used in the UK, is introducing innovative and world leading sampling and analysis technology, produces commercial metering equipment for gas fired power stations and has recently diversified into working with the agricultural sector on systems making gas from bio-waste.
The Jobs and Growth Fund is funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and supported by Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. It assists firms looking to locate in the area or seeking to expand their operations by offering grants of up to 20 per cent of the project value.
To date it has approved grants totalling more than £6million, stimulating private sector investment of nearly £49million and has assisted 56 companies across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.
Orbital Managing Director Richard Law said Growth Fund assistance had enabled the firm, which currently employs 130 people, to develop new research and development and training facilities and include a mezzanine floor in the new building to accommodate future expansion.
“Virtually everybody in the UK who uses gas will interface with Orbital products but very few of them have heard of us, even though we have build a reputation within the oil and gas industry as the go-to company to help solve their problems,” Mr Law said. “But that low profile is about to change – we have a good news story to tell. We have set ambitious but realistic growth targets and are aiming to become a household name and a truly international business over the coming years.”
Orbital became part of the CUI Global Group in 2013. CUI Global is a publicly traded company dedicated to maximizing shareholder value through the acquisition and development of innovative companies, products, and technologies.
Mr Law added that Orbital’s expansion plans were based on a firm Staffordshire foundation. Nearly all the material, construction and professional services for the new building were sourced from Staffordshire and neighbouring counties; the one exception being the steel, which came from South Wales.
“We are very proud of our Staffordshire roots and of being part of the local community,” Mr Law added. “We have a commitment to trade locally so that as we grow we will see other local companies grow with us – and that will benefit our region more generally.
“I’m a great believer in partnership working. We can get a lot more done if we form good partnerships with our supply chain, our customers and the organisations working to bring growth to Staffordshire.”
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership chairman David Frost CBE said Orbital was an excellent example of the drive and ambition of the region’s businesses.
“Orbital’s success shows what a great place Staffordshire is to do business,” he said. “We are delighted to see Orbital making its mark as a leading business both in the UK and, increasingly, at an international level.
“We are also very pleased that the LEP’s Growth Fund has been able to assist this expansion and wish Orbital continued success.”
Expert advice and support for businesses is available by calling the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Business Helpline on 0300 111 8002, by visiting the Growth Hub website at www.stokestaffsgrowthhub.co.uk and the LEP website at www.stokestaffslep.org.uk
Orbital Managing Director Richard Law and Head of Manufacturing Andrew Wood are pictured at Orbital’s new premises.
The Growth Hub was established by Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership to drive strong, sustainable business growth. It is funded by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills and delivered by Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce and is a focal point for businesses that wish to grow, linking them to specialist information, advice and services.
About the Regional Growth Fund
The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) has supported eligible projects and programmes, raising private sector investment to create economic growth and lasting employment. It has invested nearly £2.6 billion to help businesses in England to grow; and is expected to deliver over 557,000 jobs by the mid-2020’s