A specialist engineering and non-destructive testing firm is targeting global growth and expansion into new markets after investing in new machinery and equipment.
SafeRad Ltd, based in County Durham, has purchased a new state-of-the-art nuclear ‘hot cell’ for safely handling radioactive sources.
The investment, which was supported by grant assistance from the County Durham Growth Fund, also enabled the company to buy other high-tech equipment, which is part of an overall £4m programme of investment committed by Managing Director Malcolm Wass over the next three years.
SafeRad Ltd in the UK employs 10 people locally and has branches across the world, in countries including Australia, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Qatar and South Africa.
Its core markets are major constructions and maintenance shutdowns in the oil and gas industries, petrochemical and pharmaceutical sectors.
Malcolm Wass, who has worked in the engineering and associated industries since the late 1970s, said: “I looked into buying a ‘hot cell’ machine years ago, but it didn’t happen, however when I heard about the County Durham Growth Fund it made sense to apply to see if the investment could be supported with a grant.
“The purchase means we can now do even more in-house development and will support our growth in new markets, particularly on the export side of things, as well as strengthening our position in our main areas of business.
“What we do here at SafeRad is incredibly specialist and technical, in fact, there is no other company like us in the world, and the purchase of the machinery and equipment will further strengthen our global position as the leading supplier of services for the safe handling of radioactive materials.”
One of the products SafeRad is renowned for is GammaBlok, a high-density lead-free flexible radiation shield which supports the safe handling of radiation sources and ensures workers in the vicinity are fully protected. It is in use worldwide in hospitals for shielding clinicians, oil and gas installations, and nuclear power stations. This product was developed and patented by Malcolm in 1995.
The company is also a global leader in the research and development of equipment which makes the hazardous radiography process safe, and this has huge benefits.
The County Durham Growth Fund is managed by Business Durham in partnership with UMi and is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). All successful grant applications are appraised by UNW LLP, an independent firm of chartered accountants and business advisers.
Sarah Slaven, Managing Director of Business Durham, said: “There’s no doubt SafeRad is a world-leading company which calls County Durham it’s home, and I’m delighted that with the help of grant support to purchase new machinery and equipment, the team is now targeting export growth and new markets.”
Simon Allen, Investment Centre Director at UMi, said: “SafeRad is one of this region’s most innovative companies that is creating highly-skilled, technical jobs as it rolls out ambitious growth plans, which have been boosted by the grant support the company has received from the County Durham Growth Fund.”
John Healey, Corporate Finance Partner at UNW LLP, added: “The County Durham Growth Fund was launched to support businesses across the area that are targeting growth, new markets and job creation and that’s exactly what SafeRad is doing.”