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Founder’s 90th birthday marked with new training facility

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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.

Steve said:

“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.

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Steve Lavender

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