Tony Sitek, managing director of Dan-Loc Spensall, used his firm’s 100th birthday to issue an impassioned plea for British banks to offer more support to the sector.
Mr Sitek said that the country’s future success could not come from financial services alone and that firms like his needed investment in order to grow their order books and expand their operations.
Leeds-based Dan Loc Spensall is a strategically important member of the global supplier chain to the oil and gas industry producing metal parts and components for well heads, the machinery which does the actual extraction of oil from the ground.
Its clients include many Blue Chip firms and it exports to more than 20 countries.
However virtually all of the raw materials in the firm’s supply chain are sourced from the North of England.
Mr Sitek said that 2017 is shaping up to be the best year in the company’s 100 year history, with the firm having invested in both its manufacturing and growth capability.
“Now that we are going to leave the EU, somebody has got to start supporting companies like this,” he said.
“We are a full-on manufacturer. All our supply chain is based in the UK. People are complaining right now about prices going up. It is because we have been supporting financial services and companies that import.
“That cannot continue. If we are going to make a success of Brexit and we are going to stand on our own two feet then the government and the banks in particular need to back us.
“Companies like ours need their support.”
Mr Sitek and his US business partner Steven Madden took control of Dan-Loc Spensall three years ago.
Both men have extensive experience in the oil and gas industry and were aware of the firm’s good reputation internationally.
“The whole idea of buying the company was to create a global organisation using the skills we have built between us,” he said.
“The reputation it has within the oil and gas industry is very good.
“What I want to shout about is that they have to support manufacturing companies in the UK, especially those that are supporting the UK supply chain. We are not just preserving jobs here, we are helping preserve jobs all over the place.
“We cannot just reply on importing everything. We can’t just rely on financial services. We produce goods with real tangible value. We export to 20 countries. Eighty four per cent of what we now make, we export.
“So yes, we are 100 years old, that is brilliant and we have done really well to get this far. But if we are going to succeed and be part of the new UK economy, then the manufacturers who create real wealth, create real products employ people with real skills and want to train more, then we need that support.”
Mr Sitek said the reason for the company’s recent success had been brought about by improved exports owing to the weakened pound and a recent uptick in the oil and gas industry following a period of extended malaise.
He added that being based in Leeds was advantageous to the company as it found it a good location to recruit the staff it needed.
“Because of the type of business we are and because Leeds has a heritage of precision engineering, we are able to find talented people. Finding people is relatively straight forward.
“The trick is to keep good people and the way we do that is we create best environment possible.”