One of the UK’s top plating and metal finishing companies is expecting to double its turnover and its staff after receiving a government grant to help with expansion plans.
Foleshill Plating Company Ltd was set-up in 1978 by Mohan Singh and Sohan Aojula to focus on chrome, nickel and decorative plating but has diversified into e-coating for the automotive industry.
The company in Bayton Road, Exhall, Coventry, is now extending its factory to create an e-coat plant line after receiving a grant for nearly £270,000 from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) which is supported by the government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF).
The new 16,560 sq ft plant, which is due to open in February 2015, will mean Foleshill Plating Company’s premises will be extended to 36,000 sq ft.
Chris Waterhouse, technical director at Foleshill Plating Company, said the production area was being built with help from the RGF to unlock opportunities to bid for new contracts.
“Our turnover is currently £2 million a year and we are expecting it to double after this investment once the plant is fully operational since we have already secured a five-year contract with Brose worth €7 million,” he said.
“We currently have 40 members of staff and we will be taking on up to 50 more people in maintenance, logistics, manual labour and supervisors as well as increasing our shifts from two to three.
“Traditionally, we have been a plating company but we have branched out into the automotive industry to paint body parts.
“We paint body panels for Aston Martin and Bentley, seats for Jaguar Land Rover, the yellow front grills for cabs produced by JCB and bulkheads for Renault Vans.
“We were approaching capacity and couldn’t bid for larger contracts because we would have been letting customers down and without the funding we wouldn’t have been in a position to invest in the extension as quickly as we have been able to.
“We will be installing a new e-coat paint line which involves cleaning the metal, painting, baking it and storing the products for our customers in the plant – construction has already started on the site which was previously derelict land.
“We will have some of the most high-tech equipment in the UK and it means we have won a larger contract with Brose.
“This is the first time we have applied for funding towards a major contract and the whole process has been easy and smooth.”
Cllr Kevin Maton, Coventry City Council Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Employment and CWLEP board member, said the RGF grants were designed to create economic growth and jobs.
He said: “Foleshill Plating Company is a cracking business and it is a great example of a company benefiting from Coventry and Warwickshire’s status within the global automotive industry.
“It was really interesting to be taken on a tour of the factory and to see all the plant and machinery and skilled workers in action.
“To be on course to double its turnover and its staff is testament to the standard of the work Foleshill Plating Company produces for its clients and they will now be in a position to tender for larger contracts in the future thanks to the RGF.”
PICTURE CAPTION: Back, from the left, Foleshill Plating’s Kuldip Aojula and Chris Waterhouse with Rob Bent (Coventry City Council) and Cllr Kevin Maton and, front, from the left, Gurpal Thadwal and Mohan Singh