Aerospace supplier Arrowsmith Engineering has increased its involvement in the latest round of aerospace projects after receiving help from the Lift Off programme specifically targeted at West Midlands companies.

Arrowsmith Engineering has taken on an extra six new workers and 2,500 square feet of new workspace, and is w orking towards the ISO14001 environmental award.

It has spent around £100,000 on the latest computerised lathes to increase its capacity to cope with an influx of orders.

The privately-owned company, which specialises in the sub-contract manufacture of small precision mechanical engine components, has seen turnover rise from £1 million two years ago to £1.5 million this year.

Most of the growth at the first tier supplier is related to the aero-engine maker RollsRoyce, although Arrowsmith also provides complex engine components for a Formula 1 racing team.

Rolls' Trent 900 engine for Airbus' new A380 "superjumbo" and the huge new Trent 1700 would eventually become a significant source of revenue, Arrowsmith said.

The objective of the Lift Off programme delivered through Advantage West Midlands is to ensure that the region maintains a sustainable and world-class aerospace industry, meeting current demands while at the same time capitalising on the upturn in the market.

Around £9,000 in training grants was given to Arrow-smith to help its staff cope with the new machines.

Commercial manager Ben Kitson said: "Rolls-Royce ended the year with a 50 per cent share of the global engine market within the aerospace industry and we are already seeing new work coming through.

"With the benefit of the Lift Off grant we are well positioned to take advantage of these important commercial opportunities."

Arrowsmith Engineering is also looking to the future through training programmes held at The Hub, a resource centre on Bayton Road serving over 200 companies.

Around a fifth of its 32-strong workforce has completed sessions in IT while half have done courses in health and safety.

Mr Kitson said: "Our aim is to give our employees the opportunity to develop themselves; ensuring our staff have the right skills is crucial to the growth and success of our business.

"Things are going very well at the moment. We have increased our capacity by about 50 per cent, but we want to boost it further.

"The aerospace market is very buoyant at the moment and there are less people out there who can do what we do."