Engineering firm doubles in size in just six months after securing £1m order for hand sanitiser dispensers


A North Staffordshire engineering firm has more than doubled in size in the last six months – after landing a £1 million order for thousands of hand sanitiser dispensers during lockdown.

Since March, Newcastle-based Roo Engineering has tripled its turnover and doubled its workforce to a team of 27 after securing a new contract to manufacture around 11,000 units at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company – which was established in April 2019 by married couple James and Abbi Rigby – has also invested around £500,000 in a new fibre laser, LED lighting and new office space at its Lymedale Cross Industrial Estate headquarters.

This comes after Roo Engineering opened a second site – in City Road, Fenton – earlier this year.

Managing director James said: “I have been in this industry for over 15 years and I have a lot of contacts, so we saw the opportunity to set up on our own and it’s been going really well.

“A lot of our growth has been organic, it’s only recently that we’ve started to really push things from a marketing perspective.”

Finance director Abbi said: “For me, our success is down to the fact that we offer a diverse range of services and we operate to a high standard which is why we get a lot of repeat business.”

Abbi and James Rigby

Specialising in metal work, the family-run sheet metal fabricator offers a turnkey service from design, assembly, supply and installation. The firm operates across a wide range of industries and has customers all over the UK.

Over the next few months Roo Engineering expects to create a handful of new jobs to take its workforce to more than 30 people.

Abbi said: “We have always recognised that to be a successful business we have got to invest and be at the forefront of new technology.

“We also think it’s important to support the training of young people. We are just at the stage where we are starting to look at taking on some apprentices and are working with North Staffs Engineering Group, in Hanley, to do that. We are also actively looking for young females to join us on engineering apprenticeships.”

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James said: “Our new laser has given us new capabilities which will hopefully help us to win more work, and ideally, more locally-based contracts.

“It will also mean we can create three or four new positions in the next couple of months; we can probably accommodate about 35 people here in Newcastle so if we go beyond that we will have to start to look for a bigger premises.”

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He added: “We have invested a lot of money into the business this year and not only does that mean we can provide additional services, but it also boosts morale.

“I think it is important for our staff to see that we are investing and that they are working for a stable business at a time when everything is so uncertain. Our plan now is to continue to expand.”





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