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Funding boost ensures Caerphilly firm expands operations in Wales

A Welsh company experiencing considerable demand for its products from the oil & gas, petrochemical and marine industries, is expanding its operation in Wales with support from the Economic Growth Fund.
Monday 30 July 2012

The £190,000 boost from the Fund has enabled Hobbs Valve Ltd to acquire a fully equipped machine shop on Caerphilly’s Trecenydd Industrial Estate – double the size of its existing premises on the same estate.

It will enable the business – which produces a range of highly specialist patented industrial pipeline valves – to increase the amount of machining carried out in-house, providing greater control over quality and delivery.
On the back of the investment it has already created ten new jobs, bringing staff numbers up to thirty six. The company has also benefited from a £175,000 loan from Finance Wales.

Chairman Alun Hobbs, who founded the business seven years ago, described the funding as massively important for the company and ensured the investment came to Wales as the company were considering opening another facility in India.

Mr Hobbs explained:

“All our manufacturing is in-house but the machining element was sub-contracted and some suppliers were struggling to keep up with demand, costs, quality and delivery on time.

“It now means we have better control over these elements. It is a massive expansion for us and grant assistance from the Welsh Government helped us to stay in Wales and provides us with a platform for further growth.”

Business Minister Edwina Hart described it as another example highlighting how the Economic Growth Fund is playing an increasingly important role in supporting the growth of Wales based businesses.

She said:

“It is really pleasing to hear of businesses like Hobbs Valve being able to expand and create jobs through Welsh Government support. It is vitally important that companies have access to finance to take advantage of market opportunities as they arise.”

Alun Hobbs said Hobbs Valve has enjoyed a £1m year-on-year growth and has ambitions to grow to a £40m/£50m annual turnover business.

He added:

“We are experiencing considerable demand for our products but the size of our premises was constraining growth – we were literally running out of space so this investment was very timely. Our increased capacity means we can service larger orders and grow more rapidly.”

It is one of only three companies in the UK solely producing this type of valve and one of around thirty in the world. The company currently has less than 1% share of what is a $1billion industry and aims to become one of the top ten global suppliers and has objectives to take a 5% share of the market.

Its range of valves are made of a wide variety of metals and are suitable for many applications, the company’s core business is high corrosion resistant materials which are ideally suited for off-shore/marine services.
The company has just completed a £1.8m contract to supply valves for the ballast systems of two new ships to be built in the UK.



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Business and economy 30 July 2012 Economy Programme for Government - Growth South East Wales

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