Fife bespoke engineering company Foodmek is today [May 18] celebrating both its 50th birthday and the continued success of its ambitious Scottish Enterprise-backed growth plan.
Thanks to the quality of the products and service delivered by its highly-skilled, dedicated workforce, the Tayport firm which designs, makes and installs engineering solutions for the food, drink, cosmetic and pharmaceuticals industries is enjoying a renaissance since its growth plan received the first tranche of £0.5m Scottish Loan Scheme funding from Scottish Enterprise in November 2019.
It enabled the Fife Chamber member to invest in new equipment, innovation and extra highly-trained engineers in its design office and factory. This has allowed a dedicated focus on Research & Development.
The funding also allowed it to recruit and train more staff through Graduate, Modern and Foundation Apprenticeships - a core part of its strategy to prepare for the retirement of its most experienced staff. Foodmek now employs six design staff and is hiring two more Modern Apprentices to add to the pair recruited last year. Overall, eight people joined Foodmek last year, with five more planned this year.
That investment in people, as well as the production of 25 high-specification vessels for a Covid-19 test kit maker, has helped Foodmek bounce back strongly from a decrease in orders caused by the Covid-19 lockdowns around the world.
Turnover up 13% despite lockdowns
“During the end of our fiscal year ending May 2020, we saw an impact of the global pandemic. However in the current fiscal year we’ve seen a 13% increase in our turnover and are projecting a further 33% increase during our next fiscal year,” revealed Managing Director, Scot Kelly. “This has also seen our headcount increase from 32 to 43 over the last two years.
“Thanks to our success in the current financial year, we met all the requirements from Scottish Enterprise to draw down the second tranche of our Scottish Loan Scheme loan. This has enabled us to invest in a new ERP system and new equipment.” Funding from The Energy Saving Trust has also enabled the purchase of an electric pool car for customer visits - part of Foodmek’s Net Zero sustainability strategy.
‘Healthy’ order book
Orders from existing and new food industry customers have also driven Foodmek’s progress. Further orders are expected soon, adding to its “healthy” order book.
In line with its ethos, Foodmek plans to keep using its success to invest in the local community – through employability talks to local schools, engaging with community groups and a publicly-accessible defibrillator.
Foodmek believes that continuing to invest in people, machinery and new technologies, is the blueprint for another successful 50 years.
For more information about Foodmek, go to foodmek.co.uk