Defence sector supplier Lightning Aerospace is on course for a record £3 million turnover after being the subject of a buy-out – and has signed up to a manufacturing collective as it seeks further sales growth.
The Coventry-based firm will break the £3 million barrier for the first time at the end of a milestone year which has seen it complete a buy-out by manufacturing entrepreneur Andrew Redfern.
Meanwhile, the firm has become the tenth to sign up to the Midlands Assembly Network (MAN), a group of sub-contract manufacturers, and is already settings its sights on inter-trading, sharing best practice and winning new business in the commercial, nuclear and marine sectors.
The company, which employs 32 people across its three sites in Coventry, supplies specialist fabrication and harnesses to the Ministry of Defence and is expecting to open up this demanding marketplace to other MAN companies.
Mr Redfern said: “We pride ourselves on our ability to do things differently so when the opportunity came to be part of MAN we jumped at the chance.
“Naturally, the new sales opportunities that will come from being part of the group was a major attraction, but we are also keen to tap into the knowledge of the nine other businesses when dealing with everyday issues.”
He continued: “The fact we can split exhibition costs is a big benefit and we are looking forward to really exploring the strength of the brand in all of our marketing material.
“Our contacts with the MoD may also help other members of the group to secure work in this area for the first time.”
Originally established as part of an Advantage West Midlands-backed automotive initiative, MAN has evolved into a self-sustainable group that boasts a combined turnover of £70 million and employs in excess of 600 people.
The five original members – Alucast, Barkley Plastics, Brandauer, FW Cables and Westley Engineering - have been joined by Advanced Chemical Etching, PP Electrical Systems, SMT Developments, Wrekin Circuits and Lighting Aerospace, giving it a complete manufacturing solution for customers in every sector imaginable.
By pooling expertise and capabilities, the coalition has secured in excess of £10 million of contracts, including new orders in automotive, aerospace and renewables.
Gerry Dunne, Chairman of MAN, added his support: “We are delighted to welcome Lightning Aerospace to the fold and to have the group back up to ten members.
“It’s expertise in fabrication and specialist harnesses ensures we can offer the customer a complete ‘manufacturing solution’, including all mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering processes.”