Contracts flow for water treatment company as it moves to Barnsley

7 May 2013

An engineering company winning millions of pounds in contracts to supply kit for water treatment has chosen Barnsley as its new base.

A & J Water Treatment designs, makes and installs scraping and skimming equipment used by water companies across the UK and is involved in a major scheme in Sheffield.

Formerly part of Dewsbury-based Fabtech, A & J Water became a separate company last April and has turned over more than £3.5 million in its first year. 

It recently switched operations from Dewsbury to Fall Bank Industrial Estate, in Dodworth, and expects to recruit from the local area as it strives to grow by ten per cent over the coming year.

Enterprising Barnsley is aiding the firm’s expansion by providing free business support.

Managing director David Middleton said:  “We selected Barnsley as our new location for its good transport links but also because it will give us access to highly skilled workers. We didn’t expect the excellent level of business support here and that’s an added bonus.”

A & J Water Treatment provides standard and bespoke equipment for companies servicing the utilities market.

One of its current contracts, worth £2.7 million, is to supply 35 new rotating scraper bridges as part of a Yorkshire Water scheme to improve the quality of waste water being discharged into the River Don.

The bridges, which range in diameter from 24 to 40 metres, are being built at treatment works at Sheffield’s Woodhouse Mill and Blackburn Meadows.

Other contracts include work for Anglian Water, Southern Water and Thames Water.

A & J Water Treatment’s position in its sector is strengthened by its range of products and the fact it owns substantial design rights and patents.

David said: “We strive to be at the forefront of innovation within our industry. Using our in-house expertise and working with a host of specialist partner organisations, we aim to challenge the industry norms.  This works to improve our products and the satisfaction of our customers and also to benefit our industrial community as a whole.”

Indeed, one of the firm’s upcoming research and development projects, being kept under wraps for now, has won funding from the UK’s innovation agency the Technology Strategy Board.

A & J Water Treatment has just added a commercial assistant to its team at Fall Bank, bringing the total office and field staff to 19. It expects further posts to be created as the business develops.

Support received through the Enterprising Barnsley programme has included help with developing the company’s website and marketing and improving accountancy systems.

“It is absolutely vital that we get it right at this stage so to have such real, hands-on assistance here in Barnsley is great,” said David.

The Enterprising Barnsley programme is a partnership between Barnsley Development Agency (BDA) and Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC).  It aims to help Barnsley-based businesses develop and expand, generating economic growth and creating new jobs.

Enterprising Barnsley is supported financially by the European Union. The project has attracted £2,259,511 investment into Barnsley from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.

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