High-speed marine craft specialist feels the wind of expansion

Posted on 16 Apr 2014 by The Manufacturer

An Essex manufacturer of high-speed marine craft set up in 2010 with just three employees has announced turnovers of £6m having create 11 new jobs in the last year.

CTruk, based in Brightlingsea, designs and builds a range of craft as well as emerging as the market leader of twin-hulled composite vessels for the UK offshore wind sector.

The company, which now employs 70 people, which has worked closely with the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), has also seen it take on two new apprentices.

It also cites its different approach to design and build as setting it apart, with the firm utilising its vacuum fusion process with composite materials, with ensures its boats are up to 40% lighter than traditionally-manufactured vessels and more fuel efficient.

Ben Simpson, managing director at CTruk, said the increase in capacity was also brought about due to increased demand from the sector.

“Since our launch, we have successfully delivered 17 vessels for the offshore wind sector but demand has reached a stage where we need to look at ways in which we can increase our capacity,” he said.

Mr Simpson added that as part of the expansion, the company is looking into developing a new training centre so the necessary skills are passed on to future generations of boat builders.

The UK has emerged as a global leader in the offshore wind sector in recent years, with as much capacity already installed as the rest of the world combined.

The market is estimated to be worth more than £100 billion over the next 20 years, with around 30,000 new jobs to be created in the next decade.

Mr Simpson added that the input of MAS has helped the company explore the government’s GROW:OffshoreWind project, which it is helping to deliver.

The service, which is targeted at firms seeking growth, offers English manufacturers a unique joined up package of consultancy, technology and funding support to help them take advantage of the opportunities offered by this expanding market.

“The support we have received from MAS and GROW has helped us complete a 10-day programme designed to ensure our construction methods are protected from businesses looking to expand into our territories,” he said.

MAS Advisor Victoria Tsoi said she is delighted with the firm’s progress.

“CTruk has seen spectacular growth, based around a strong product offering, a highly skilled workforce and a desire to succeed.

“Ensuring it can meet requirements for producing larger vehicles is the next big opportunity and we will be assisting the management team in achieving this objective.C