A South Shields manufacturer is bringing metal working back to a historic site in the town thanks to £100,000 funding from The Journal’s Let’s Grow campaign.
DSM Fabrications, trading as Durham Sheet Metal Works Ltd, already operates facilities in South Shields and Birtley, and is investing £450,000 to rejuvenate the Taylors Foundry on Commercial Road, South Shields - creating 10 jobs in the process.
The specialists in bespoke metal fabrication took advantage of Let’s Grow, run by The Journal in partnership with BE Group and UNW, to scale up production after orders began to outstrip capacity.
Now the 45-strong firm plans to move its Birtley operations to the Taylors Foundry site, which is on the doorstep of its existing premises, and had most recently been occupied by a wood working company.
DSM has committed to a long lease on the major workshop which adds another 30,000 sq ft to their existing facilities and another four overhead cranes which can handle fabrications up to 15 tonnes.
The foundry had been operational from 1890 up to 2002 when it was eventually forced to shut in the face of foreign competition.
DSM manager, David Gracie, said: “It’s really great for us to be taking the foundry back to its roots and putting metal fabrication back on the map in the area. We got to a point where production was at capacity and we needed to expand to accommodate new work.
“Growth in the subsea oil and gas industry has trickled down to us, and this year we’ve secured our biggest ever orders.”
The firm now anticipates a growth in turnover from £2.6m to £3.2m before the end of its financial year in February.
DSM predominantly supply bespoke, one-off products to the oil and gas and marine sectors, and have also serviced clients the power generation, air filtration, industrial silencing, security, scientific and nuclear markets.
The family firm specialises in fabricating bespoke light to medium metal products in mild steel, stainless steel and aluminium - mainly for UK customers.