South Shields business thrills audiences across the globe

Db Show Control & Automation, which helps design some of the most exhilarating multimedia show experiences, has won an £800,000 contract in China

David Birchall, technical director at Db Show Control & Automation
David Birchall, technical director at Db Show Control & Automation

A design firm which helps to create some of the world’s most exhilarating multimedia show experiences has secured an £800,000 contract in China – the biggest it has won.

Set up in 2011 by technical director Dave Birchall, Db Show Control & Automation is a technical design consultancy which works with theme parks, entertain shows and a range of firms providing design, programming and project management services for audio visual shows and IT systems.

Based at One Trinity Green in South Shields, the five-man team travels the world to work on its projects, which has generated turnover of £1.2m.

That is set to rise after securing its biggest contract in China, helping to produce a stunning water show that takes place on a lake in the area of Wuyishan, China.

The company’s robust, engineered solutions are at the core of the world’s most demanding multimedia shows, theme park rides, museums and interactive visitor centres, with projects completed including two new rides at Universal Studios Orlando, the Big O water show at the World Expo in South Korea and the Wings of Time show on Sentosa Island in Singapore.

The team also worked on the park-wide audio system at Thorpe Park, Nissan Auto Expo India, Audi A3 Experience at the product launch in Barcelona, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and the JCB presentation theatre at its headquarters in Staffordshire.

This latest contract win includes full technical design and build plus on-site commissioning for a giant system that drives all of the special effects, lasers, lighting, projection, audio and water effects for the night time water show in Wuyishan.

Mr Birchall said the firm moved into the light industrial unit to help its continued growth.

“The China project was huge and we really needed a bigger, better resourced environment from which to design and build the system,” he said.

“One Trinity Green had many advantages for us. The easy and flexible letting terms were very appealing but perhaps more importantly was the fact that we knew the design and layout of the centre would be attractive to our clients, some of whom come to South Shields to see how the projects are developing and can be here for some time.

“A great deal of the work that we do requires fast internet connectivity. Also, we did not fully realise the facilities that are on site for meetings and even conferences and we can envisage a time when we will be taking full advantage of that resource.”

The company is a member of the Themed Entertainment Association, an international non-profit association representing the world’s leading creators, developers, designers and producers of compelling places and experiences.”

Coun John Anglin, South Tyneside Council’s lead member for regeneration and economy, said: “It’s great to see a home-grown business flourishing and proving a real success story.

“One Trinity Green’s award-winning facilities are attracting companies that operate on a regional, national and international level.

“Businesses like DB, with strong export activity, are showcasing the talent we have here in the borough on the international stage.”


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer