Darchem Engineering appoints new managing director

The Northern Echo: Billy Meijer has been appointed new managing director of Darchem Engineering in Stillington, near Darlington. Billy Meijer has been appointed new managing director of Darchem Engineering in Stillington, near Darlington.

AN expanding North-East precision engineering firm has appointed a long-standing employee as its new managing director. 

Billy Meijer,46, has risen through the management ranks to now lead Darchem Engineering at Stillington, near Darlington.

Mr Meijer has been with the firm for eight years, latterly in the role of divisional director of fabrications at the Esterline Corporation-owned company. He is looking forward to managing the continued growth and expansion of the business as it approaches its 60th anniversary.

Mr Meijer succeeds former boss Graham Payne at a time when the firm has seen demand for its products increase by 11 per cent, with turnover rising from £75.4m in 2012 to £83.5m for the year ending October 2013. 

Darchem has experienced rapidly increasing demand for its high-quality precision products across its customer base, particularly in the growing market for large scale nuclear fabrications.

The firm, which now has an 880-strong workforce, is in the final phase of the construction of its £8m 75,000sq ft factory on a brownfield site next to its existing facility.

Mr Meijer will oversee the completion of the new factory with the generation of more than 80 new fabrication and welding jobs, as well as additional apprenticeship opportunities.

Mr Meijer, who was born in Northern Ireland and now lives in Northallerton, said: “I am delighted to take on the role of managing director of such a prominent, world class, precision engineering company. Darchem has a very highly skilled team who are supportive of change and with such a great team in place I am confident that we will achieve our accelerating growth strategy for the business.”

Mr Meijer brings with him more than thirty years’ experience in the aerospace, defence, marine and nuclear industries.

He is experienced in delivering business strategy across niche market sectors for high value, low volume specialist engineered products.

As business unit director, Mr Meijer was responsible for growing the aero-structures side of the business from £4.5m to a £22.5m turnover.

He also managed the bid team who successfully won the firm’s first major nuclear contract in over 20 years with a sales value of £8m.

Mr Meijer added: “I am looking forward to overseeing the firm’s continued growth and expansion as we move into 2014 and beyond. 

Within our diverse sectors covering aerospace, defence, automotive and energy, we have seen significant growth having won several new contracts and have further opportunities to bid for even more substantial projects, which is fuelling the need for our new production facility.”

Phil Bowker, the platform president at Esterline Engineering Materials (California), said: “Billy has worked with Esterline for several years now and his appointment is significant. Darchem is a major local employer with a fantastic Teesside heritage that is moving into an exciting new stage of a sustained period of growth.

“This new appointment represents continuity against a background of change and rapid progress within the company, and I am delighted to welcome Billy to the role of managing director.”



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