Ascent’s home comfort

Karl Hodson, Finance Yorkshire; Keith Williams, UKSE Ltd; Andy West, Ascent Precision, Steve Lyon, Natwest; Mike Stephens, Natwest
Karl Hodson, Finance Yorkshire; Keith Williams, UKSE Ltd; Andy West, Ascent Precision, Steve Lyon, Natwest; Mike Stephens, Natwest

After five years of renting premises, Sheffield based engineering company Ascent Precision has moved into its own production unit, dramatically increasing its capacity and creating new employment thanks to a combination of loan finance from UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE), Finance Yorkshire and a mortgage agreement with Natwest Bank.

The £100,000 loan (split equally between the two investors) and mortgage allowed the company to move from a rented 2,000 sq ft space at the Lion Works on Ball Lane Sheffield to a 10,000 sq ft production, office and warehouse unit at Prospect Works, Saville Street, Sheffield.

Keith Williams, UKSE’s Regional Manager for Yorkshire, Humberside and the Midlands, says Ascent Precision’s prospects for growth is what made them an attractive investment.

He said: “Ascent Precision may be a relatively small company at the moment, but it has ambition and determination to grow. This will bring increased prosperity and jobs to South Yorkshire, which is one of the criteria we look for in a potential investment. Supporting young and vibrant businesses is what we aim to do at UKSE and we look forward to helping Andy and his team grow and prosper in future.”

Launched in October 2006, Ascent Precision has built a reputation for high-quality precision engineering, resulting in the winning of a major contract to supply the foundations for bike docking stations for Barclays’ Cycle Hire scheme that has been championed by Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. The company has already supplied the capital with 11,000 docking stations for the iconic blue bikes. It is now working its way out to the Olympic Stadium with another 4-5,000 more stations ordered.

The move to new premises will allow Ascent to take on new and larger contracts. The company has already invested in two new machines and appointed a new production control manager.

“After sharing units with other companies in rented space it feels great to have our own place where everything is under one roof,’’ said managing director Andy West. “We used to have our warehousing across the city but we now have five times the floor space and hugely increased production capacity together with our new offices.

“This move will really shift us up a gear and we are looking forward to further growth as a result.’’

Finance Yorkshire’s Investment Manager, Karl Hodson paid tribute to the way the financial package was arranged, saiying: “Ascent Precision has really gone from strength to strength recently and the relocation is key to its future expansion. All the funders worked together to provide the company with a suitable funding package to enable the purchase of the new premises to be made. ”