North East engineering firm Industrial & Marine Hydraulics (IMH) is gearing up for an era of expansion and diversification after appointing a new managing director.
The company’s founder and long-standing managing director Paul Griffiths is to take up the position of chairman after 30 years at the helm of the business.
He has been replaced by Nathanael Allison, who joins the firm from Global Marine Energy, where he served as customer relations director.
Mr Griffiths has overseen the development of IMH from a fledgling business into a company with a portfolio of heavyweight global clients on its books and a 32-strong workforce.
Recent successes for the company include contract wins for work on the Colne Flood Defence Barrier and Torness Nuclear Power Station, as well as being enlisted by the likes of Houlder, Cordell and Bosch Rexroth for various projects.
Meanwhile, the company’s bespoke hydraulic systems are now exported to markets across the globe, including the US, Brazil, China and Norway.
Mr Griffiths said: “We have established a very strong and stable company, but it can do so much more and we owe it to our staff and clients to take IMH forward into a new era.
“We have therefore appointed a new and younger managing director, who has fresh ideas, a lot of drive and energy, great leadership skills and fantastic experience in international business development and customer relations.
“Our new man, Nathanael Allison, is an intelligent leader with vision and focus and a lot of energy. He has a successful legacy in international business development and customer relations.
“He is also dynamic and driven and will take us forward, expanding into a broader marketplace – and he has a highly skilled team and reputation to build on.”
Mr Allison said that while that company had put in a solid performance in the North East, it now wished to take on a more “global” outlook, which would be filtered right down to the apprentices it took on. Within the next few years, he added, the firm wished to double its turnover.
“IMH presents such a fabulous opportunity to grow a UK based company of engineering excellence,” he said.
“It is a company with a philosophy of developing home grown talent to compete on a world stage to deliver its hydraulic engineering services and products.
“With the recent financial crisis the economy needs companies such as IMH, using our domestic engineering talent to win business across the globe.”
As well as growing its international presence in recent years, IMH has developed a thriving apprenticeship scheme.
This year it plans to recruit a record five apprentices while continuing to support its staff through HNC and part-time degree qualifications.
Chris Johnson, who is currently enrolled on a mechanical engineering course through the company, said: “I love both the hands-on and theoretical parts of the job and I really feel that I am developing important skills.”