70 years in business: (l-r) Jas Bahra (Business Growth Service), Sue Taylor, Anna Hayton and Richard
Russ Cockburn

Member Article

70-year milestone for Birmingham-based Edmar Engineering

A Birmingham manufacturer, set-up to help rebuild Britain’s industry after the Second World War, is celebrating its 70th birthday in style after completing a number of major new contracts.

Edmar Engineering has used its expertise in small quantity machining, one-offs, prototypes and jigs and fixtures to complete work for clients across the automotive, aerospace, food, pharma and utilities sectors as it reached nearly £1 million turnover in the last financial year.

Recent growth has been partly driven by a series of production line builds for a major confectionary business, testimony to the company’s ability to work with clients from initial design through to production and supply.

Strategically supported by the Business Growth Service, the firm has also redeveloped the first floor of its factory with the purchase and installation of a new Excetek V500 wire EDM, a SMX4000 Milling machine and QTS Quantum III CMM inspection equipment.

This, combined with the recruitment of three apprentices and improvers, provides Edmar Engineering with a perfect platform to make the most of its anniversary year.

“My Great Grandfather Bill Marklew was commandeered by the MoD at the start of WWII to help enlist toolmakers and engineers to aid the war effort,” explained Anna Hayton, who will be the fourth generation family member to run the company when she takes over from her mother Sue Taylor as MD next year.

“When the war ended, instead of going back to being a foreman at Dunlop, he decided to start a business with colleague Mr Edwards…no doubt using contacts he built up during those difficult years.”

She went on to add: “We originally started life in a rented Nissen army hut and two storey-building, providing specialist engineering services to a whole host of industries. This diversity is still the case today and one of the main reasons we’ve been able to overcome 70 years of peaks and troughs.”

Edmar Engineering, which employs 16 people at its Aston factory, has been significantly supported by the Business Growth Service’s manufacturing experts, who have worked with the management team on a host of best practice process improvements and in planning long-term strategy.

The Government-backed organisation has also played a prominent role in signposting the company to funding opportunities that have been crucial in facilitating the recent £200,000 investment drive.

Business Growth Manager Jas Bahra added his support: “This is a fantastic tale of a small engineering business evolving over the years to become an important partner to clients in numerous industries.

“Edmar is a true family-run business and a lot of these values are evident in the way it looks after its staff, the quality levels it strives for and the way it has grown steadily.”

He continued: “We have worked with the company for some time now, listening to its requirements and then delivering external advice and access to specialist programmes, such as ‘Great 200 Leaders’. Here’s to the next 70 years!”

Anna, who will be joined in the management team by her sister Jayne Sheppard and Technical Director Richard Dale, concluded: “The Business Growth Service is the first place we go to when we have questions about expansion or overcoming small issues within the business.

“We’ve always had fantastic advice and the fact we can leverage financial support to boost our growth plans is always welcome.”

Edmar Engineering is planning a number of celebrations to mark its 70th year, including the introduction of a production management system and planned purchase of its first machining centre.

Introducing the Business Growth Service

The Business Growth Service helps businesses with the right level of ambition, capability and capacity to improve and grow. It brings together a broad range of expertise so that businesses can get the right advice and support to fulfill their growth potential.

The service includes support from GrowthAccelerator, the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), design support from the Design Council and Intellectual Property Audits from the Intellectual Property Office.

UKTI (UK Trade and Investment) and UKEF (UK Export Finance) work with the Business Growth Service to provide export support where it is needed and the service is closely linked with Innovate UK and the British Business Bank.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Russ Cockburn .

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