John Hamilton
Tom Keighley

Member Article

Behind the business with Renown Engineering Ltd

John Hamilton, director of North East engineering firm, Renown Engineering, takes Bdaily behind the business.

What key challenges has your company recently faced?

Since established in 1986 Renown Engineering Ltd has played a major role in the UK defence sector, where, as an approved defence contractor we have directly served both the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence as well as a number of Tier-1 defence contractors.

With the government announcing that the UK defence sector spending would be halved, this created a significant threat for us and the 10pc of the country’s manufacturing industry that supplied the defence sector.

We have always been involved in the manufacture of major sub-assemblies for a range of armoured fighting vehicles such as challenger II, Panther, Trojan, Titan and Terrier. Now, as a result of the economic downturn and subsequent cuts in British defence spending the army is faced with the prospect of making do with the updates to its existing vehicle fleet for at least the next decade.

Unfortunately these external influences have limited opportunities within the defence sector. Therefore the key challenge to the business has been to expand in current operating markets and new markets.

How have you responded to government spending cuts?

We had long anticipated the government’s plans to cut spending, and we immediately took a proactive approach to matching our capabilities to the needs of new markets requiring our skillsets. I’m pleased to say this is paying dividends as significant progress has been made in extending the company’s customer base.

What is your biggest achievement over the past 12 months?

In October 2012 Renown Group (Parent company to Renown Engineering) was awarded with 12th place on Ward Hadaway’s list of the North East’s Fastest 50 growing companies. .

The Fastest 50 gives recognition to privately-owned profit-making companies and organisations which have shown the strongest turnover growth over recent years. We were particularly pleased with this achievement as it highlights the manufacturing capabilities within the North East region and demonstrates the ability for SME manufacturing firms to prosper in times of uncertainty.

What is your biggest focus for the coming year?

The North East’s manufacturing sector has recently received substantial investments towards developing its capabilities in the energy industries. Large investments are being made in oil and gas and offshore renewables, and the presence of these growing markets within the North East will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the region’s economy.

For example, the introduction of tax breaks in the North Sea has meant investment is at a 30 year high and continuous investment in the North East region means that the oil and gas industry is growing at a quickening page. Another interesting investment is The Neptune Centre, a technology facility in conjunction with Newcastle University that is attending to the widely discussed oil and gas skills shortage in the UK, which also places the North East at an advantage within the industry.

As an engineering firm in the North East and with sister companies Renown Oil and Gas and PJ Engineering already operating in these industries, we are experiencing the benefits of being part of the supply chain. We are especially excited by the major players in the industry that continue to move into the region as a result of the North East’s potential in the oil and gas industry.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

Enjoy the read? Get Bdaily delivered.

Sign up to receive our popular North East morning email for free.

* Occasional offers & updates from selected Bdaily partners

Our Partners

Top Ten Most Read