A North Wales firm is celebrating after being awarded contracts with one of the world’s biggest shipping companies and an American renewable energy specialist.
Barnett Engineering, based in Rhos, near Wrexham, is involved in maintenance work for shipping giants Maersk who employ more than 100,000 people and operate in 130 countries world-wide.
The second bit of good news came when they secured the right to be the sole UK and Ireland distributor for American outfit Aerofortis who manufacture silent-running wind turbines for domestic and small-scale commercial use.
The company, run by brothers Steve and Ian Barnett, say that their accountants, Wrexham and Saltney based Coxeys, have played a crucial role in their success in creating new strands of business.
Coxeys provided advice on accessing tax breaks for conducting Research and Development work that’s been central to accessing new markets resulting in Barnett Engineering securing new clients in the steel, pharmaceuticals and food industries.
Steve explained: “Over the past couple of years we have diversified our business and expanded our workforce including extra engineers and project managers.
“We have increased our activity in the marine sector, having secured several contracts and this side of the business is still steadily growing”
“The applications undertaken are of a highly specialist nature, and we have introduced new operating systems, training regimes, and quality control measures to meet the exacting standards required.”
“We are delighted to have worked internationally for Maersk early in 2011 where six technicians were contracted to undertake repairs on three large vessels for a period of six weeks.
“Our employees have undergone many new types of training which is very interesting for everybody and is increasing the skills base within the company.
“As a philosophy for the business we look at development and expansion into new areas and sectors and this has worked out really well for us.
“We don’t intend to stagnate and want to keep moving forward and develop our business further.
“Renewable energy is another growth area for us. We have been appointed as the UK and Ireland distributor for wind turbines by American company Aerofortis.
“They are ducted wind turbines which are virtually silent running so that they minimise any disturbance in the area surrounding the wind turbine.
“We are also developing projects involved with the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme as well as other biomass projects.
“Research and Development is very important to us because we can develop our ideas and create our own niche products and services and this obviously puts us in a very strong position as a company.
“The fact that Coxeys were able to help us claim back on tax for our Research and Development work really encouraged us and was crucial in developing new areas of business.
“Coxeys have ensured that we put the Research and Development claim together correctly to maximise the full benefit and that’s absolutely invaluable, especially as virtually no grants are available nowadays for companies to develope innovative ideas.
Coxeys Director Anthony Lewis is delighted at the success of Barnett Engineering on so many new fronts
He said: “They are a very progressive firm who don’t like to stand still – companies like this depend on innovation to continue to grow, it is their lifeblood.
“The Government are currently promoting Research and Development and are giving additional benefit for willing to put resources into this area.
“When it came in, the additional allowance was 50 per cent of the Research and Development expenditure. It went up to 75 per cent in 2008 and the most recent budget has increased it to 100 per cent, and set the figure from next April to an additional 125 per cent.
“With a company like Barnett Engineering, the spend on research and development can reach six figures.
“This claw-back of Corporation Tax is a massive boost – it means essentially they are sharing the risk with the Government.”