Waterloo contract puts Dudley firm on track for record year

Posted on 11 Dec 2012

Mercia Architectural has tapped into the spirit of the 2012 Olympics to record its best ever year and is now setting its sights on growth and creating new jobs.

The architectural metalworking company beat international competition to secure a large contract to make all the architectural metalwork for the new concourse at Waterloo train station.

The £1.1m project is the biggest in the company’s history and involved working with BAM Construction to design and manufacture all the aluminium cladding, the main staircases and the stainless steelwork for the shops.

It also contributed to the installation of the glass balustrading, including specialist technical support in ensuring the 300 metre-long balcony was fit for purpose. Waterloo Station built the shopping arcade and mezzazine as part of improvements for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Mercia Architectural has been assisted by the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) in the West Midlands to improve processes and the management of its supply chain.

Rachel Eade of MAS West Midlands and Warren Holland, MD of Mercia Architectural

Managing director Warren Holland believes that working on such a high profile job will pave the way for more growth.

“The Waterloo contract has really catapulted us into a different league and it’s now our determination to make the most of it by winning similar projects.

“We secured the order against rivals ten times our size, predominately because of our ability to offer the architects and construction company a complete package, covering the designs and manufacture through to installation and maintenance.”

The project initially had 45 weeks to finish the job from the start. “By the time we could get on site, in fact everything had to be completed in 22 weeks, a massive challenge but one we met,” said Mr Holland.

The company is now working with MAS on a bid for Regional Growth Funding to purchase new machinery and to fund training for key members of staff.

In 2012 the company turnover rose from £950,000 to £1.6m.

Mr Holland credited MAS for its part in a successful year, as well as Lloyds TSB. “The banks have been criticised for not supporting SMEs, but I can honestly say that without their support we wouldn’t have been able to complete the contract.”

Rachel Eade, supply chain specialist at the Manufacturing Advisory Service, said. “This is a great example of how the Olympic legacy has had a lasting positive effect on Black Country manufacturing.