GALLERY: Chatteris firm Stainless Metalcraft unveils big plans for nuclear supply chain sector

Announcement of Metalcraft expansion Chatteris. Picture: Steve Williams. Announcement of Metalcraft expansion Chatteris. Picture: Steve Williams.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:43 AM

A Fenland manufacturer has set its sights on becoming a market leader in the nuclear industry.

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Announcement of Metalcraft expansion Chatteris. Picture: Steve Williams.Announcement of Metalcraft expansion Chatteris. Picture: Steve Williams.

Stainless Metalcraft, based in Chatteris, has secured nearly £1million to develop its work in the nuclear supply chain over the next three years.

The funding, from the Civil Nuclear Sharing In Growth Programme (CNSIG), will help it improve its training programme.

To celebrate this investment and outline their plans for the future, Metalcraft held a meeting at Chatteris Men’s Working Club on Friday.

Addressing the company’s 170-strong workforce, managing director Austen Adams described the potential growth of the nuclear industry as “quite stunning”.

He said: “By approving this investment, the CNSIG board has not only recognised our potential to become a significant player in the UK’s nuclear industry but has also demonstrated its confidence in our team to deliver results.

“With Government policy clearing the way for investment in new civil nuclear energy plants, we’re excited about the potential to develop our position in this important market, creating valuable training and employment opportunities for local people as we do so.”

He has set an ambitious target of growing the company’s turnover from £15 million a year to £50 million a year in four years, and he sees nuclear as the way to achieve this.

This in turn, he says, will bring benefits to the local community, with the potential for large job creation.

“At the moment we have about 170 workers. To run a £50million a year turnover company, you would need 400 people,” he said.

“People working in the factory spend their money in the local supermarket or go to the local barbers, so there is a knock-on benefit for the whole community.”

Stainless Metalcraft has left its imprint worldwide - in 1981, it built the world’s first MRI scanners and, today, more than 50 per cent of the MRI scanners used throughout the world contain their components.

They have also played a pivotal role in the world’s largest particle physics experiment – they built 4km of the Large Hadron Collider, a 27km accelerator ring at CERN in Switzerland.

Six of the world’s largest navies, including the UK and US, have parts made by the Chatteris firm.

Metalcraft already manufactures vessels, tanks and heat exchangers for nuclear clients including Sellafield and Rolls Royce.

They also have fruitful working relationships with LG, Samsung, Philips and GE Healthcare.

At the event Jonathan Matthews, head of the CNSIG, spoke of the “fundamental need” that exists for nuclear power generation and backed Metalcraft, one of 10 companies which are part of the scheme, to lead the way.

He said: “By 2030 there will be 120 nuclear stations built in the world, eight of them in the UK.

“I am looking at a good company and in three years time I’m confident I’ll be looking at a great company.”

The investment was welcomed by Fenland District Councillor Fred Yeulett who, alongside new council leader John Clark and chief executive Paul Medd, attended the event.

Cllr Yeulett, cabinet member for growth, said: “This is great news for Metalcraft and great news for Fenland. What you are doing as a company is tremendous. You should blow your own trumpet.

“As part of our Local Enterprise Partnership, we aim to work closely with businesses to get more investment and skills development in Fenland.

“We look forward to learning from and further cooperation with you.”

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