Hartlepool alloy wheels specialist hopes to increase niche market share

Hartlepool's R S Alloy is using bank funding to buy equipment for hydrographics printing on wheels

RS Alloys Ray Smith with Ian Kirk from Barclays
RS Alloys Ray Smith with Ian Kirk from Barclays

Alloy wheel refurbishment specialist R S Alloy is formulating expansion plans following a raft of funding to buy new equipment.

Ray Smith, the owner of the Hartlepool-based firm secured the undisclosed funding to buy equipment for industrial standard hydrographics – a form of printing that involves dipping wheels through a floating ink layer.

The business offers carbon dipping, a process which results in a carbon fibre effect that can be applied to anything with an endless array of styles and patterns.

R S Alloy was launched in 2010 by Mr Smith and specialises in allow wheel refurbishment as well as wheel straightening and polishing for motor enthusiasts and local motor trade organisations.

The firm also offers powder coating services which allows metal objects to be covered in tough, durable finish that is harder than paint. Mr Smith said: “An opportunity arose to grow the business, and with interest rates at an all-time low I decided the time was right to invest for growth and expand the services we provide.

“Purchasing the new equipment has been a big commitment but as we’ve doubled in size since our launch I’m confident that we can continue to grow in this niche market.”

R S Alloy is based at Park View Industrial Estate, Hartlepool and is set to double turnover again this coming year. It expects to take on additional staff throughout this year to support their expansion plans.

Ian Kirk, business banking manager at Barclays, put together the funding package for the deal, and said: “Ray spotted an opportunity to fill a gap in the market and operates a quality business which is contributing to the North East economy.

“Barclays has been able to support the business and its growth plans with a suite of products which will provide the flexibility for medium term expansion and we look forward to seeing the business develop of the coming year.”

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