Founder's 90th birthday marked with new training facility

4 March 2014

A South Yorkshire company is marking what would have been the 90th birthday of its founder with the launch of a new training hub.

Lavender International, which has its headquarters in Penistone, Barnsley, has moved its ultrasound training to the Technology Centre at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham.

The move comes as the company workforce has grown to 50, with the addition this month of three new technical trainers.

Lavender International trains people from all over the world in non-destructive testing. Clients include major aerospace companies; nuclear, oil and gas suppliers, and firms involved in service inspection and the leisure industry.

The new premises have been kitted out with the latest testing equipment and the teaching facilities will be able to take up to 30 trainees at a time.

Steve Lavender is co-managing director with his brother Dave. Their father Jack, who was a highly respected metallurgist in the steel industry in Sheffield, set the company up in 1976. The official opening on Friday would have been his 90th birthday.

Steve said: “He’d be proud if he could see how the company has grown. We now have trainees from virtually all over the world, from Australia and India to Brazil and the USA.”

The trainees are taught non-destructive testing using dyes, X-rays, magnetism and ultrasound to find faults in metal and other materials used in anything from gas pipes to aeroplane wings.

Moving the ultrasound testing facility to the AMP will free up space in Penistone so the company can offer a wider variety of courses.

Lavender International has been given free business support by Enterprising Barnsley, a European-funded programme run by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council in areas including IT, marketing and business planning.

“The support from Enterprising Barnsley has given us confidence and helped us grow. So this move into the AMP is in part down to them. It will free up space at our main base giving us the chance to grow even more,” said Steve.

Enterprising Barnsley, which offers a wide range of help to small and medium-sized businesses of all sizes with growth potential, is supported financially by the European Union and has attracted £2,259,511 investment 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.

Around 60 people are expected at the launch on Friday (March 7), with the official ribbon cutting at 3pm.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Photograph shows Steve Lavender outside the company’s Penistone HQ.

Steve can be contacted on 01226 765 769.

For more information about Lavender International go to www.lavender-ndt.co.uk

The Enterprising Barnsley programme is part financed by the Yorkshire and Humber European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding

For more information about Enterprising Barnsley go to www.enterprisingbarnsley.co.uk or contact Martin Beasley on 01226 772648 or at martinbeasley@barnsley.gov.uk

Additional media contact: Kate Betts on 01226 766900 or 077927 64891 or at kate@capitalbmedia.co.uk

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