A Premier increase in employees

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What does a new, open space in Barnsley town centre have in common with London’s Leicester Square Gardens and National Theatre and a four-metre tall tuning fork in an Irish garden?

They will all have metal or glass features made in Barnsley by fabrications firm Premier Engineering (Yorkshire) Ltd. Now it is aiming to create 10 jobs with help from business support organisation Enterprising Barnsley.

A growing number of bespoke, high-end contracts have helped the company achieve over a four-fold increase in turnover since setting up at its current Stairfoot site 10 years ago.

Managing director Brent Richards said the recent work for Barnsley Council – stainless steel balustrades, handrails, benches and other work at the new Pinfold Steps development – followed another major contract for the borough authority; three steel sculptures on the Dodworth by-pass, put up in 2006.

He said: “I’m really proud that we’re creating features of Barnsley that will hopefully be part of the town’s landscape long in to the future.”

After an apprenticeship in fabrication and welding, Brent went self-employed in 1989, aged just 23. In 1996, he took on small unit in Mount Osbourne Business Park before moving to a bigger site at Grange Lane Industrial Estate, Stairfoot, in 2002.

At the same time the workforce has grown from nine to 23 and turnover has risen from around £350,000 in 2002-03 to £1.8m last year. It is expected to top £2m next year.

The company makes and installs structural and architectural metalwork in mild steel, aluminium, stainless steel, brass and glass for clients in a range of sectors from hotels to construction. The products range from internal structures to stairs and automated gates.

Brent said: “The direction of the company has definitely shifted to the higher end and it’s that I want to build on further and also attract more orders from overseas.’’