An engineering company took a calculated gamble costing almost £50,000 to stay on top of the game.

Middleton Precision Engineering ploughed in the cash to buy new equipment which has taken it to a different league.

Managing director Keith Middleton said: "The new machinery is as good as there is and the quality we produce is second to none. It was a gamble, a calculated gamble, to invest and it has paid off for us."

Based at a 5,000 sq ft unit in Bayton Road Industrial Estate, Coventry, Middleton Precision Engineering employs seven skilled engineers and specialises in the design and manufacture of precision machine tools, moulds, jigs and test rigs for the automotive industry.

Its latest investment in a large CNC lathe has been supported by £5,000 from Advantage West Midlands' Accelerate programme.

Mr Middleton, a former CNC programmer for Rolls-Royce, started the business 12 years ago.

He said: "The new machinery has taken us into a different league and we're on course for our best year ever. Around 60 per cent of our business these days is in automotive making prototype parts and we like to think we are well placed there. This is an exciting time for the company as we want to expand."

The business has a wide client base in sectors including aerospace and the agricultural industry for which it manufactures parts for machines that turn trees into chips used for surfacing paths and playgrounds and as a fertiliser for shrubberies. We are looking to diversify our client base still further and the new acquisition will give us the chance to take on new employees to help us to grow," said Mr Middleton.

Peter Arnott, of Business Link, hailed it as "a go-ahead engineering firm" and said it was capitalising on its machinery to open up new business opportunities.