Steel firm sees 58pc rise thanks to capital contracts

new era: Meadowhall is undergoing a �60m refurbishment. The work is being carried out at night time and will be completed by the end of 2017.
new era: Meadowhall is undergoing a �60m refurbishment. The work is being carried out at night time and will be completed by the end of 2017.
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AN architectural metalwork specialist which is part of the £60m Meadowhall refurbishment has seen its turnover rocket by 58 per cent after securing orders of more than £16m.

Sheffield-based Dearneside Fabrications, which also worked on Westfield’s The Broadway in Bradford, said the contract wins have resulted in an unprecedented forward order book of £15m, up from £10m last year.

Turnover for the year to March 31, rose to £13.5m. The company expects its turnover for 2016/17 to be £15-£16m.

Dearneside, which employs 120 staff, is benefitting from the capital’s buoyant construction industry.

It has secured a number of contracts in central London to supply balconies within the residential sector.

Projects include The Pinnacle, based at Battersea Reach, the Merano scheme on the River Thames and 190 The Strand for St Edward. The latter two schemes feature penthouses in excess of £10m.

Other projects included a £6m contract to work on the huge Royal Wharf development, London City Island on the Leamouth Peninsula and Chobham Manor, Stratford, the first new residential development on the Olympic Park post 2012.

Matthew Horrobin, Dearneside’s business development manager, said: “Historically about 30 per cent of our work was in central London but it’s currently about 90 per cent.”

He added: “We used to do a lot more work in Yorkshire, particularly in Leeds, and we are hoping to pick up some more projects in the region soon. Over the last six months we have found that the Yorkshire market is getting busier.”

The company, which manufactured and installed balustrade and metalwork for Leeds Arena, has made its name in recent years working on large retail schemes.

The firm’s Meadowhall project involves moving the existing balustrades, which sit along the main shopping mall, and replacing them with modern glass. The Broadway project involved manufacturing and installing balustrade, staircases and architectural metalwork.

In addition, the company has recently completed projects on the Victoria Centre in Nottingham and the Southside Centre in Wandsworth.

Mr Horrobin said: “Generally, the market is buoyant, especially on larger projects. There are very few architectural metalwork specialists who can handle contracts of over £3-4m, which means we can work on prestigious projects in central London.”

The firm has built a new stainless steel fabrication building on its Trafalgar Works site after receiving funding from the Regional Growth Fund. “This work used to be done in the existing building but due to our order book expanding, we needed more space so we had to construct a new building,” said Mr Horrobin.

Dearneside also covered two of its factory roofs in 250 solar panels to reduce its carbon footprint and reduce energy costs of its operations. It will also allow energy to be put back into the National grid to power other people’s homes and places of work.

Planned investment for the next 12 months include work on its neighbouring Wallace Road Site.

“During the recession, the management took the decision to invest and grow the infrastructure of the company ready for when the market picked up,” said Mr Horrobin. “The company made no redundancies and even grew slightly so we are in a very good position today.”

The company has strengthened its senior management team with a new operations director, a London regional operations manager plus London-based contract managers.

Dearneside is currently in advanced negotiations on several new multi-million pound contracts for projects in central London and the north of England, including Manchester. “In the next 12 months we envisage continued growth in a manner that can be sustained in line with our current strategic business plan,” said Mr Horrobin.