Gulf Tour to the UK 2017 – Leeds, 18th September 2018

The Gulf Tour to the UK is an annual event which will bring together representatives from the Department for International Trade (DIT) and business partners with a major presence in the Gulf to provide information and advice.

The programme will include panel discussions and presentations on setting up and doing business in the Gulf market, a networking lunch and 1-2-1 meetings (where possible) with DIT representatives and business partners.

The Gulf Tour to the UK will offer expert advice on a wealth of business opportunities in the Gulf countries of Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The day will include panel discussions, presentations on doing business in the Gulf market, a networking lunch and 1-2-1 meetings (where possible). The event is ideal for businesses in Mass Transport, Construction, Energy, Healthcare, Education, ICT & Defence and Security sectors.

The event is open to UK companies in the following sectors that are interested in doing business in the Gulf: Mass Transport, Construction, Energy, Healthcare, Education, ICT & Defence and Security.

For more information and to register please click HERE

 Rail Alliance – Special Event, York, 18th August 2017

 Network Rail Infrastructure – Design for Reliability & Product Acceptance

Kevin Rayment CEng FIMechE, Reliability Process Manager, Network Rail

Date: Friday, 18th August, 2017, 9.00 am – 1.30pm
Location: Network Rail Network Operations, Floor 4A, George Stephenson House, Toft Green, York, YO1 6JT.

Following a successful seminar in London, Rail Alliance in partnership with Network Rail are pleased to present this essential knowledge to the Northern region.

A key function of its Product Acceptance regime, Design for Reliability is now a mandatory requirement for any controlled, fixed infrastructure product procured by Network Rail.

Kevin Rayment, together with NR’s Product Acceptance division will host a working seminar to explain what this means for the rail supply chain. Whether your company is an existing or a prospective supplier, awareness and adoption of the DFR process is essential – this is a mandated, structured procedure for how NR expects suppliers to demonstrate reliability using proven tools and will influence decisions made at PQQ and ITT stages of procurement. This will be an interactive discussion where concerns and questions will be openly addressed.


  • Design For Reliability – explanation of the concept and Network Rail’s rationale
  •  Whole Life Cost modelling
  •  FMEA’s: Learning from past experiences• Measurement equipment requirements
  •  Failure Trends• Maintenance schedule development
  •  The DFR process• Procedures for newly designed products vs. product changes
  •  Data capture, analysis and Corrective Action Plans

Hosted and partnered by Rail Alliance this event is free to attend, and is essential for any business with Network Rail as a current customer or in scope.

Admission is in limited number by Expression of Interest – BOOK HERE
Applications will be confirmed by return.


Small and medium-sized manufacturers increased output at the fastest rate in seven years, a new survey has found.

The CBI’s latest quarterly SME trends survey found new orders continued to rise at a strong pace in the three months to July 2017, with export order growth at its highest since April 2011.

Employment also increased and hiring intentions for the next three months is “solid”. However, the survey found that concerns about skilled labour shortages may limit output.

Alpesh Paleja, CBI principal economist, said: “It’s encouraging that activity among SME manufacturers has risen strongly over the past three months.

“Firms are clearly in an exporting sweet spot, able to exploit the competitiveness gains from a low exchange rate and a firm global backdrop.

“But the boost from a lower exchange rate will fade over time, so maintaining frictionless and tariff-free trade routes with the EU will be critical for future exporting success.”

The CBI’s report was compiled using the responses from 364 small manufacturing businesses.

Source: Storm Rannard, Insider Media, 2nd August 2017


A Sheffield-headquartered manufacturer and supplier of bedroom furniture has returned to profit and edged sales towards the £30m mark.

Home Décor was originally established as Acmetrack in 1975, before being acquired by The Stanley Works Inc in 1987 and sold seven years later.

At this time, it was renamed Home Décor GB and is today wholly owned by Cerberus Capital Management.

Its head office is in Sheffield, while the business also has a presence in Italy, the Netherlands, China, Australia and the US.

For the year to 31 December 2016, Home Décor reported turnover of £29.95m compared to £28.9m the previous 12 months.

The company also recovered from last year’s pre-tax loss of £512,610 by making a profit of £579,151.

Home Décor said it had enjoyed an increase in domestic sales through both its contract and direct-to-consumer channels, as well as a boost in European revenue. The return to profit was attributed to a reduction in direct costs and underlying overheads, as well as a rise in the sale of higher margin products.

For 2017, directors expect the company to “continue trading at comparable profit levels to the previous year”.

During the year end, the Sheffield company acquired Optiplan Kitchens and the Manor Cabinet Company in a move expected to create a group with turnover of £50m, employing about 350 staff across the UK.

At the time, Home Décor chief executive Max Crosby-Browne said: “This acquisition is a hugely exciting move for Home Decor and an important strategic step in achieving our growth plans.

“We will now have two distinct business units which together can offer customers a more integrated offering.  The three businesses are a great fit in terms of culture, product offering and market sectors.”

Source: Matthew Ord, Insider Media, 2nd August 2017


A joint venture business between Rolls-Royce and Unipart Group has become the latest member of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield.

MetLase, which was founded in 2015 as a joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Unipart Group, has joined the AMRC following a recent collaboration in which it developed a set of 14 fixtures for the assembly of complex parts.

Since its formation in 2015, MetLase has doubled in size and is growing rapidly.

The business is able to come up with engineering solutions to complex issues by using high precision laser-cutting technology, combined with patented assembly and joining systems.

MetLase will work as a partner on the Integrated Manufacturing Group (IMG) at the AMRC’s Factory 2050 facility, to develop “smart enabled tooling”.

James Illingworth, IMG theme lead in automated assembly, said: “Developing ‘smart’ fixturing, or fixturing that is intelligent by using sensors to collect data, provides valuable benefits for in-process control and monitoring, and improvements in part quality.

“The data collected can be used in real-time for process adjustment or later in the manufacturing process for review.”

Steve Dunn, managing director of MetLase, said: “We are pleased to join the AMRC, which has a global reputation as a centre of excellence for manufacturing research and innovative engineering.

“As partners on the Integrated Manufacturing Group, we can combine our expertise to develop our fixtures to interact with autonomous technologies such as those involved with robotic assembly.”

Source: Joshua Hammond, Insider Media, 1st August 2017

New and novel healthcare solutions: apply for innovation funding

Up to £12 million is on offer to UK businesses for projects that support the development of healthcare technologies and processes.

Evenort Ltd acquire Alexander Comley

Evenort Ltd, the Sheffield based precision engineering company announced it has acquired Alexander Comley, the almost 100 year, midlands based manufacturer of large flanged product. The purchase will better serve the existing customer base across the UK and internationally by allowing the newly formed group to offer a single source for all product.

Over recent years Evenort’s guiding Kaizen, Core Values have taken the company onwards and upwards. The continued success culminated with CEO Craig McKay installed as the prestigious 2015-2016, 377th Master Cutler whose core role is to act as ambassador, representing the City’s wider technology and manufacturing interests. Sheffield has a long held tradition for metallurgy and steel making, with the Cutler Company founded in 1624, its first Master Cutler, Robert Sorby. At 45, Mr. McKay was one of the youngest to hold such an illustrious posting.

Alexander Comley’s diversification into tubesheets for heat exchanges, filter plates for the filtration/separation industries with significant, £500.000 investments in machinery provides a synergy for both companies that mean they are similar, yet different enough to complement one another. Glen McKay, Evenort MD, “We maintain a long term vision and strive to meet all challenges with the courage and creativity needed to realise that vision”

Craig McKay, Evenort CEO commented “Continuing the values on which Evenort is ran, the opportunity to acquire such a historic name from the British steel industry is one we feel will be of benefit to both existing and future customers. Alexander Comley and Evenort will, over the coming months, form a group which will continue to evolve the “can do – will do” approach our customers have come to expect. Very exciting times lie ahead for us all”.



The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) has invested £500,000 in a Sheffield-based company developing high performance motor-generator systems.

Libertine FPE Ltd will use the £500,000 investment to target growth in commercial markets and to advance its ‘Linear Power Systems’ technology.

It is the first investment by NPIF – Enterprise Ventures Equity Finance in the Sheffield City Region and Libertine FPE will set up a new headquarters in Sheffield with product development and testing facilities.

Libertine develops electrical power generator products known as free piston engines, in which the crankshaft is replaced by a linear electrical generator.

Founded by Sam Cockerill, an engineer with a background in the biofuels industry, Libertine currently employs four staff and expects to double its workforce in the year ahead.

Cockerill said: “This investment by the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund represents an important milestone for Libertine which will help us expand our customer base, build our team and further develop our core Linear Power Systems technology.

“In the past few months we have seen increasing demand for our technology from companies in the automotive, oil and gas and dynamic testing industries.

“With this new investment we are well placed to respond to this customer demand, and become part of the cluster of fast-growing technology businesses in the region. I look forward to working with Enterprise Ventures to deliver on this ambition.”

Ashwin Kumaraswamy, investment director at Enterprise Ventures part of Mercia Technologies, added: “We are delighted to support Libertine with its next phase of development as it gradually gains commercial traction and expands its premises in the North.

“Its innovative technology enables an improvement in the performance of electrical power generator products, which could potentially offer a cost effective, low-carbon alternative to conventional types of power generation.”

Ken Cooper, managing director at British Business Bank, said: “The response from the Yorkshire & Humber business community to the launch of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund has been exceptional with NPIF fund managers receiving hundreds of enquiries from both business introducers and SMEs in the region.

“Libertine marks the first equity investment in the Sheffield City Region, led by an expert management team, the company has the potential to take its class-leading innovation to a much larger customer base, and this funding will help them to achieve that.”

Source: Joshua Hammond, Insider Media, 27th July 2017

SCR online jobs board launches

A new Sheffield City Region jobs board which is designed for businesses to find it easier to recruit and retain local talent has been launched.

Companies in the Sheffield City Region are able to sign up and have their own landing page. The online service to advertise job vacancies is FREE

The jobs board will also enable companies to see the applicants profiles, CVs, contact details and process the candidates through to rejection or hire.

McLaren Automotive, which is set to create more than 200 new jobs at the Composites Technology Centre, and Barnsley based Melett, manufacturers of turbo charges, are just two of several big names to have already signed up to the service.

To find out more and to sign up to the platform please click HERE.



Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber Manufacturing Excellence Award – inclusive for all ‘S’ Postcodes

Manufacturing Excellence Award

 This award recognises local manufacturers with a proven track record for innovation, efficiency, sustainability and profitability. Entrants must be able to demonstrate the success of the products they manufacture, along with the strength of their presence in the UK and/or overseas.

The judges will be looking for evidence of the following:

  • Supporting new product development and use of new process technology, plus an understanding of/response to customers’ future needs.
  • A strategy around job creation, people development and engagement of all employees.
  • Successful processes and policies in both Lean manufacturing processes and Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • Strength of presence in the UK and/or overseas

To enter this award you can use the attached form or visit to download a word or PDF document.

Sponsorship for this award is available, for further information please contact me on 01709 386200.

Entries close Friday, 1st September. The awards are open to all businesses with an ‘S’ postcode in South Yorkshire and to all members of the Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce.

It is FREE to enter the awards and you can apply for as many categories as you like, however we can only accept one application per award and we will accept your first application submitted.

The awards ceremony will take place on Friday 13th October, at Magna – Rotherham, in association with RNN Group

For further information please visit or email us at