£400K Growth Hub grant sees UK metal business create jobs

Posted on 12 Jun 2018 by Jonny Williamson

Pro–Roll, a high-value metals specialist, is targeting business growth after securing a £400k grant from the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub.

The company is targeting business growth after securing a grant from the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub – image courtesy of Pro-Roll.

The Growth Hub backing is reportedly helping Pro–Roll, also based in Sheffield, expand as one of the UK’s leading suppliers of bespoke alloys for the aerospace, civil, nuclear, motorsport and bio-medical industries.

Alexa Greaves, chair of the Growth Hub Board, said: “Innovation is a key priority for growth in the City Region, and we could see that the Business Innovation Fund backing would be a perfect catalyst for Pro-Roll.

“The grant has helped them increase production, saved and created jobs, and means that the company can be among the leaders of the steel industry of the future.

“I am proud that the Growth Hub helped this dynamic business. The region is forward looking and practical, taking every possible opportunity to help businesses make the most of their future.”

Pro-Roll was established in 2000 by husband and wife team Symon and Gill Havenhand. Symon Havenhand had seen that low-volume specialist products were the way ahead and he wanted Pro-Roll to produce bespoke, high-value metals in ingot and billet form.

In order to expand, the Havenhands purchased reportedly new premises at the Pluto Works in Wadsley Bridge, Sheffield. The grant was then used to buy melting equipment to begin development work. As a result of this expansion, Pro-Roll has created five new jobs with a target of a further 20 to be filled.

Symon and Gill Havenhand worked with the Growth Hub’s business growth specialist Jo Flanagan to apply for the grant which complemented the funding package provided by Craig Gray and his team at NatWest and Lombard.

Symon Havenhand said: “We couldn’t have done it without the help from the Growth Hub and Jo, and the financial assistance through the Sheffield City Region and Nat West made a very complex ambition come true.

“Major consumers such as shipbuilders have gone abroad, and they have developed their own mass steel production in other countries. We are left with the high value requirements for aerospace and the nuclear and medical industries. We have the quality as long as we keep ahead in terms of research and development.

Symon Havenhand added: “As I see it, people will always want to fly, and to go in for motorsport; they’ll always need surgical implants – and those sectors all demand the highly-sophisticated metals we produce.

“When I first realised that, it gave me the impetus to further develop special metals production to high standards. We have a strong research and development ethos at Pro-Roll and we are constantly looking at the special metal materials the industries of the future require.

“We’re also utterly committed to providing high quality in all we do; we’ve invested in the technology that enables us to check and re-check at every stage that we are meeting the most demanding requirements of our clients, many of whom are global names and world leaders.”

Gill Havenhand also commented: “There is something about working with metal that gets into your psyche. We are all passionate about keeping this industry and skills alive. We are the custodians of the heritage of metal in Sheffield, the steel city.”

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