Rotherham circuit board manufacturers see "green shoots"
The director of Rotherham circuit board manufacturers, VC Electronics, is set to merge with a former rival, and has taken on ten of its staff.
Turnover at the company is predicted to rise from £1.07m, and managing director Pat Cummins says the industry is showing signs of “green shoots.”
He said: “We can manufacture printed circuit boards for any application and if you think about it these days just about everything has a circuit board in it.
“But the markets that are growing are particularly those with a green agenda and it is a very exciting time to be involved with those. If any one of a number of new areas takes off our turnover could be even higher than the £2.7m we are predicting.”
The company, supported by Enterprising Barnsley, is moving away from traditional markets to environmentally connected areas such as light sensors and smart meters.
VC Electronics is involved in trials of LED streetlights, which use less electricity; daylight sensors that can adjust street lights, and electronic systems that reduce the energy used when a motor is started up. They are also trialling tracking devices for railway cabling to help reduce theft.
Pat, who set up the company in 1998, said he had spotted some recovery going on in the manufacturing industry.
He added: “Components such as semi-conductors are getting harder to get because demand is picking up. I think that is evidence that there are some green shoots appearing, but who knows if it sustainable or whether it will dip.”
The free support from Enterprising Barnsley had also helped VC Electronics grow, said Pat.
“Their support has been invaluable. I have been in business for 15 years and during that time I have been approached by a lot of organisations that say they can help, but so often you get nothing out of it.
“There has been very little that has really worked until I came across Enterprising Barnsley. Their help is really practical and not just ticking boxes.”
Among areas Enterprising Barnsley has supported VC Electronics with are sales and marketing, website design and recruitment.
Shaun Higginbottom, of Enterprising Barnsley, said: “Successes like that of VC Electronics show that manufacturing does have a future in Britain and that there is some recovery going on.
“This is where many of the jobs of the future are and that is why it is vital we support such companies.”
The Enterprising Barnsley programme is supported financially by the European Union. The project has attracted £2,259,511 investment into Barnsley from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.
The programme is a partnership between Barnsley Development Agency (BDA) and Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC).
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