Multi Fab Revisited
Simon Gladwin MFL MD George Freeman MP (left to right)
Norfolk firm Multi Fab Ltd, which expanded its manufacturing capacity with new premises at Attleborough, Norfolk a year ago, was paid a return visit by Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman (who officially opened the premises one year ago) to celebrate the company’s successes of the past 12 months.
The £2.5m investment, offered a purpose built factory, together with an aluminium pre-treatment machine for the powder coating line, which is unique and made specifically to order for Multi Fab Ltd, resulting in the recruitment of several new employees, including a new factory manager and recent apprentice with a view to adding more young apprentices in 2012 under new Government initiatives, to train as skilled sheet metal workers.
When asked if apprentices work, Peter Dalby Production Manager for Multi Fab said: “We all have to start somewhere and we have had apprentices come and go. Some can be high maintenance and need managing constantly, but they are young and need development. The ones that are keen to learn and genuinely looking for a career, not just a wage packet to burn every week, really becomes an asset. Organically grown skills in house are ideal for our type of operation”.
With the investment three members of staff moved over to work at the Attleborough site from their Mildenhall operation and another 15 staff were recruited locally to work in the sheet metal and powder coating lines, with 35 full time jobs being created.
Trading for Multi Fab Ltd has been “Extraordinary in what has been a tough trading year for many in the construction sector,” according to managing director, Simon Gladwin.
“Multi Fab is one of only a few fabrication companies left with the capabilities and quality of output to deliver for our clients across the UK. We have fantastic teams at both manufacturing plants; the workforce has really put in the maximum effort this year in making our Attleborough investment such a success. The other Directors and I are extremely proud of what has been achieved and we all have an excellent platform on which to continue growing through 2012 and beyond”.
Recent high profile projects for Multi Fab include the supply of aluminium windows doors and curtain walling, plus all the sheet metalwork requirements in the building of a state-of-the-art hotel in the heart of Stratford, East London and will be used to accommodate guests for the London-based Olympics in 2012. Multi Fab has also just completed the façade fabrication for the new-look M&S store in Norwich, now making it the largest M&S store in the UK. The project modernised the look of the building with the installation of glass curtain walling and advanced structural glazing to the exterior, plus a clever rain harvested ‘living wall’ used to reduce inner city carbon.
Multi Fab offer a complete sheet metal fabrication service to the aluminium window, door and curtain walling construction industry as well as the retail shopfitting market with an industry leading 30 year guaranteed powder coating service. The new pre-treatment machine on the powder coating line is the only machine in the world which has nine stages, able to pre-treat and therefore powder coat any size of sheet metal from tin cans to cars.
Its base out of Attleborough is used for all sheet metal fabrication and continues to trade since 1983 from Mildenhall for window, door and curtain walling production.
One year on has also seen the introduction of its new solar business, Eagle New Energy. Also based at the new Attleborough site, Eagle New Energy had been on target this year to achieve a £2m turnover from a standing start, until the recent news of the reduction of the Government’s Feed-in Tariff paid to householders which now falls from 43.3p per kWh of solar electricity to just 21p under new proposals and a deadline of December 12th.
Nigel Woodhouse Sales and Marketing Manager for Multi Fab said: “We developed and expanded the solar business out of Multi Fab 12 months ago to create a separate company called Eagle New Energy. The market place quickly became saturated with solar companies springing up from all over the place and almost on a daily basis, with many hoping to make a fast buck. Our strategy differs and we invested in making the right choices to take on and commit to only the jobs that could be fulfilled successfully and for our customers to receive their maximum benefit from the Feed In Tariff.”
He adds: “With these latest significant changes to the Government’s feed in tariff, thankfully, we do not have to let any customers down, return any deposits, make anyone redundant or default on any vehicle finance or other big commitments that many others in the solar industry had taken on.”
He said: “We pride ourselves on excellent customer service and in running an ethical business; we will continue to grow our solar business at a slow and steady pace because we are in it for the long haul and will end up with a sustainable business that has longevity within the solar industry.
“We do have the backing and resource to take on multi million pound commercial façade installations should we so decide, but every decision we make is carefully considered to safe guard our employees and customers, so I am pleased to say there is no boom and bust for us.
“Having said that, we have relayed our concerns to Mr George Freeman MP over the Government’s timescales in reducing the Feed-in Tariff for the UK solar industry in the hope that he will take this back to Westminster. While in principal we agree to the proposals we are just as shocked as is the whole industry in the limiting timescales imposed.”
George Freeman MP says: “I have been looking forward to returning to Multi Fab Ltd to see their progress over the past year. It’s extremely impressive already, such as their aim to increase apprentice numbers, and their work for M&S Norwich and in preparation for the 2012 Olympics in Stratford. I like nothing better than to hear about Norfolk companies going out and leading the way in their field in the UK.”
He adds: “I’ve been happy to discuss the concerns regarding Feed-in Tariffs and I understand their worries. However the actions are absolutely necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability – and therefore jobs and growth in the long run – of the solar industry. Current tariff levels are completely unsustainable, and set to exhaust the whole FIT budget within a few months. There would then be no money left at all, leaving the solar industry in the lurch.”
Multi Fab Ltd would like to take this opportunity to thank our existing customers and to attract new customers of course! So please contact us if you would like to know more about Multi Fab Ltd and how we can support you!