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Body Engineering, in Evenwood, secures cash injection to boost oil and gas contracts
A FAMILY-RUN precision engineering firm which is a leading supplier of tank parts to the Ministry of Defence has secured a £100,000 grant to forge ahead with expansion plans.
Body Engineering, in Evenwood, near Bishop Auckland, has used the cash to invest in a £300,000 vertical turning and boring machine to produce larger components for the oil and gas industries.
The firm, which employs seven people, was founded in 1989 by directors Paul and David Body and is the UK's leading manufacturer of track pins for a number of military machines including 65 tonne tanks.
It is already using the new machine to make parts for an offshore customer.
The company received the grant from a £25m HSBC Bank fund, facilitated by the Government's Regional Growth Fund, and the cash injection comes after it secured a new contract with tank track manufacturer, William Cook steel casting, in Stanhope, County Durham.
Body Engineering has previously supplied components to customers across the world in Singapore, Scandinavia and the Middle-East, and also makes specialist shear bolts for the reinforced concrete industry and air venting screws for radiators.
However, David Body said the investment which would allow the firm to continue its rapid expansion, which could see it make sprockets and road wheels for armoured vehicles.
He said: “The new machine is already being used for new customers in the offshore industry and it definitely gives us scope to go into different fields and different directions of work.
“In the past, we have had to decline some jobs because we have not had the equipment, but this machine means we can move into the various markets and expand further.”
The company worked with business grant application expert Neville Baldry, a partner from Clive Owen and Co Business Advisers, and Peter Harvey from HSBC to secure the investment.
Mr Baldry said: “It was great to work on this project and we were always confident it would be successful and I am very pleased the company are now able to make such progress in their business.”