Monday 22 December 2014
A company which provided infrastructure for the UK’s biggest events, including the 2012 Olympics and Wimbledon, has become a market leader of aluminium roadways and is now creating more than 60 jobs thanks to a grant from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF).
LION Trackhire, based in Worksop, creates temporary access solutions for construction projects and outdoor events, allowing access of pedestrians and vehicles over normally impassable terrain.
The firm, which has become the world’s largest stockholder of portable aluminium roadways, recently applied for – and won – two grants from the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), to support an expansion costing more than £2m.
The grants, totalling more than £400,000, have enabled LION to service increased demand across Europe, particularly in Germany.
This has involved investing in equipment, as well as training staff in areas such as language, customer service and technical know-how so they are better equipped to work in the rapidly -growing business.
Gordon McKay, general manager of LION, said: “We were established in 2009, however our founders are the pioneers who created the industry back in the 1960s, so we aren’t short of expertise.
“Our engineers have solved the impossible, from moving whole buildings in one piece to the world’s heaviest cranes, so it isn’t surprising that demand for our services sometimes outstrips our resource. This grant will help us expand further to meet those demands.
“We have won many prestigious contracts, providing trackway for the Olympics, major infrastructure contracts with the National Grid, Wimbledon and a number of major outdoor festivals. We are winning new businesses almost on a daily basis.”
This year and last, LION were ranked 26th and 31st in the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 league of fastest growing companies and recently won the Best Company (Under £23m) award in the Real Business, CBI/Lloyds bank UK Growing Business Awards.
The growth in renewable energy across Europe is seeing demand for trackway on wind and solar farm projects; for both installation and ongoing maintenance.
LION Trackhire’s expansion plans involve initially focusing upon renewable energy installations in Germany, having increased turnover in the last four years to over £16m.
They intend to double this within the next three years.
Gordon added: “The money from the RGF enabled us to access other forms of funding and drive forward our expansion into the European market.
“We have been able to purchase the aluminium to build panels we need, as well as train our staff in the new skills they require to work with clients in Germany and the rest of Europe.
“I would encourage any other business across the Sheffield City Region which intends to expand and create new jobs to see what funding opportunities are available to them through the LEP.”
Councillor Simon Greaves, Leader of Bassetlaw District Council, said: “Bassetlaw is home to some truly world-class businesses and it is inspiring to see Lion Trackhire expand their business on a global scale.
“This is another example of Bassetlaw being a fantastic place to invest in and grow business.
“I hope Lion Trackhire’s success will spur on more businesses and entrepreneurs to apply to the Sheffield City Region’s Regional Growth Fund and, as Bassetlaw’s representative on the Local Enterprise Partnership, I will work hard to ensure that Bassetlaw’s businesses are given the best opportunity to expand and prosper.”
To find out more about LION Trackhire, visit the website at www.liontrackhire.com
The grant funding for LION Trackhire has come from the LEP’s “Unlocking Business Investment” programme, which has seen £32m in central Government funding allocated to the city region.
Earlier this year, it was announced that the Sheffield City Region had secured a £320m “growth deal” from the Government, which will create more than 28,000 jobs and training for 40,000 people.
This is the fifth-largest sum to be secured of the 39 LEPs within the country. As part of the Sheffield City Region Growth Deal, the LEP secured a further funding from Government which will be used to support businesses to invest and grow.
For more information about Sheffield City Region LEP visit www.sheffieldcityregion.org.uk