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Barnsley engineering company expands following big contract win

A Barnsley-based engineering company is launching the biggest recruitment drive in its 120 year history after winning a major utility contract.

Clayton Penistone Group specialises in the design, manufacture, installation and management of bespoke mechanical and electrical systems, mainly used in water treatment.

The company aims to increase its workforce by a fifth and appoint to ten new jobs within the next 12 months.

This follows its successful gain of a five year framework contract with Yorkshire Water, which it secured in collaboration with five other UK companies. The deal represents the biggest contract Claytons has ever signed, and is potentially worth £5 million a year to the company.

It is accompanied by several other five-year asset management contracts with Anglian Water and United Utilities, plus other power and utility providers and estate owners such as NHS Trusts.

Established in 1895 and currently employing 38 people, Clayton’s current expansion is culmination of a business growth strategy which has seen it double turnover in the last ten years. Its growth is being supported by Enterprising Barnsley, the business support and development arm of Barnsley Council.

Managing director Chris Bramall said: “We took a conscious decision to increase capacity and invest in growth just over five years ago. We knew we had the capability – the skills, the people and the land available here in Barnsley – and decided the time was right to push on and develop the potential of the business.”

Clayton invested more than £500,000 in eco-friendly new premises at its existing Halifax Road site in Penistone which tripled floor-space and workshop capacity in 2009. This meant that its engineers could meet clients’ new demands to deliver a higher level of off-site service – in other words develop systems which can be ‘plugged’ in on site as quickly as possible.

The firm also underwent major development of its management systems and lean manufacturing processes, again in response to changing industry demands; plus, pursued and gained the highest level of industry accreditation.

Chris said: “We have developed our professional capabilities in all areas so that we are now in a much stronger position to bid for work higher up the supply chain in the water and utilities sector. We are taking on more responsibility and working much more directly with either the client or the primary contractor.

“Enterprising Barnsley has given us a great deal of on-going expert support to achieve this change of culture at Clayton and we really value their input. Our aim now is to double turnover again in the next five years.”

Claytons, as part of the Cema Clayton Consortium, and in collaboration with three other UK companies, secured the Yorkshire Water MEICA (mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, controls and automation) contract, in September. This five-year framework deal could mean millions of pounds worth of work for all the companies involved across the UK, including work to bring 720 sewage pumping stations up to standard.

Claytons has already started advertising to fill its first clutch of new posts in engineering and administration.

Enterprising Barnsley’s business development manager Steve Hawkins said: “Claytons has a long and proud history as an engineering company and employer in the Barnsley borough and it is fantastic to see them responding so positively to the changing demands of their market, gaining new work and creating jobs.”

Through Enterprising Barnsley the company has gained business support to improve efficiency, effectiveness and integrated management systems; and gain ISO 9001 and 14001 plus meet new requirements under BS 18001/ISO45001 occupational health and safety management and ISO/IEC 27001 information security management legislation.

Enterprising Barnsley offers a wide range of business support to small and medium-sized businesses with growth potential.

Claytons directors Lee Gennard, Chris Bramall and Daniel Waddington
Claytons directors Lee Gennard, Chris Bramall and Daniel Waddington

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