Doncaster engineering firm officially opens new building

15 July 2013

The mayor of Doncaster has officially opened a £350,000 new building at Thorndell Engineering as the company continues to expand.

The new building houses offices and a new fabrication plant, complete with overhead crane, meaning the firm will be able to increase the volume of large steel structures it produces.

Thorndell, based at Kirk Sandall, makes everything from gates and fences to steel frames for buildings. It made the fencing around Conisbrough Castle and supplies gates and fences to local authorities and construction companies, including Leeds City Council, Keepmoat, Wates and City of York Council.

Director Penny Barker said the firm was expanding because of its reputation for quality and reliability. In 2011 they opened a new £150,000 powder coating plant. Turnover for year ended January 2013 was £1.1m and this is expected to rise to £1.5m this year, with a target of £2m for the year after.

The company employs 22 people, with a view to taking on five more now that the new building is complete. The company is being given human resources and other advice by Business Doncaster, a partner in the South Yorkshire Sector Growth Enhancement Programme (SYSGEP), which is part-financed by the 2007-13 European Union's European Regional Development Fund.

“We are continuing to grow despite the recession and the future is looking good,” said Penny, who runs the company with fellow director Paul Thompson.

The pair took over the company ten years ago in a management buy-out, having both worked their way up the company, which was first launched in 1978. Penny and Paul both joined in 1993, Penny in the admin department and Paul started as a plater welder.

“Apart from the second half of last year when things were a bit tough, we haven’t noticed the recession,” said Penny.

“The main reason that we have been so successful is that we are reliable and we do what we say we are going to do.

“This new building means we will be able to do even more. We will be able to produce more large steel structures for buildings such as schools and hospitals.”

Doncaster’s mayor Councillor Ros Jones carried out the official opening ceremony of the new facility, which was built by local construction company Pacy and Wheatley.

Andrew Webb, SYSGEP sector growth manager, said: “It is fantastic to see a Doncaster company doing so well and proving that quality really counts in a recession.

“We will continue to support such companies as we need to bring jobs to the area in these difficult times.”


Attached photograph shows Doncaster Mayor Cllr Ros Jones, with directors Penny Barker and Paul Thompson, carrying out the officially opening of the £350,000 building. Photographs that do not directly relate to the opening ceremony are available on request from Kate Betts.

For more information about Thorndell Engineering go to or contact Penny Barker on 01302 884964.

For more information about Business Doncaster go to or contact Andrew Webb on 01302 862464.

Business Doncaster is part of the Regeneration and Environment Directorate of Doncaster Council and operates in partnership with Donbac, Doncaster Chamber, Doncaster College and Jobcentreplus. Business Doncaster is a partner in the South Yorkshire Sector Growth Enhancement Programme (SYSGEP), which is part-financed by the European Union's European Regional Development Fund.

The European Regional Development Fund Programme is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government on behalf of a local partnership including the National Government, European Commission and local bodies. The programme has €583 million from the European Regional Development Fund to invest by 2013. Further information about the ERDF Programme in Yorkshire and The Humber, including information about the projects that are receiving ERDF Investment, is available at

Additional media contact: Kate Betts on 01226 766900 or 077927 64891 or at

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