Double-win for Coventry engineering company

An innovative Coventry engineering company is nearly doubling its premises and recruiting extra staff as part of a national initiative to kick-start the economy and improve growth.

Richmond Design and Marketing (RDM) was among ten projects in Coventry and Warwickshire to have applications for grants from round two of the government’s Growing Places funding scheme approved by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The company – which marks its 20th anniversary this year – is growing its premises on the Bilton Industrial Estate in Humber Road by leasing an 18,000 sq ft unit which will house a £200,000 five-axis CNC machining and turning facility and further equipment.

The investment in state-of-the-art technology will allow RDM, which is jointly owned by brothers David and Graham Keene, to increase its workforce from 36 to 53 over the next three years.

David said the funding from Growing Places along with investment from the company meant work which was currently sub-contracted to a firm in China could be carried out at its new unit.

“Traditionally for 20 years we have been a respected, bespoke SME automotive supplier but we have taken the opportunity through Growing Places to expand,” he said.

“We currently have three units totalling 20,000 sq ft on the Bilton Industrial Estate and when we get the keys to the additional premises on October 1, we will be investing in new technology and up-skilling our staff.

“We will have a new laser engraving and marking system, three injection moulding machines, three state-of-the-art machining and milling centres and will be able to develop and grow our trimming facility as well as take on Special Vehicle Operations work.

“This means we will be manufacturing from start to finish our automotive spec rechargeable torch for Jaguar Land Rover so there will be no sub-contracting involved. It is quite unusual for a UK company to be able to carry out the whole process.”

David said Coventry City Council’s Business Investment team had provided great support in its application to secure the Growing Places grant.

He said: “We are really pleased to have secured the funding and the support we got from the Council’s expert team helped us to understand the process during the application because they gave valuable, pragmatic advice.”

Councillor Lynnette Kelly, Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Employment, said RDM was a perfect example of a forward-thinking company that had the expertise to grow with additional financial help.

“Growing Places funding gives LEPs the opportunity to award grants to businesses that will boost their local economy and create jobs,” she said.

“RDM fits the bill with its engineering and manufacturing capabilities and receiving this additional funding will allow the company to invest in machinery and premises to drive the business forward as well as add more staff with six more people being taken on before the end of this year.

“Their work in the automotive field will further enhance Coventry and Warwickshire’s reputation as a centre for excellence in this sector and we wish them every success in the future.”