Firm on track to expansion across Europe

UK's heaviest crane on a Lion trackway at the Olympic park
UK's heaviest crane on a Lion trackway at the Olympic park
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A Sheffield City Region company that lays temporary roads is booming on the back of demand for wind farms across trackless terrain in Europe.

Lion Trackhire is creating more than 60 jobs after winning contracts to help vehicles cross impassable terrain during the construction of renewable energy projects such as wind and solar farms. Turnover has risen over the last four years to £16m.

The Worksop company claims to have the world’s largest supplies of aluminium roadways.

Jobs include building a road used by the UK’s largest crane during the construction of Olympic stadiums in London, at Wimbledon and major outdoor festivals.

The company has recently invested £2m in expansion which includes new jobs, equipment and staff training in languages, customer service and technical know-how.

Gordon McKay, general manager, said: “Our engineers have solved the impossible, from moving whole buildings in one piece to the world’s heaviest cranes, so it isn’t surprising that demand for our services sometimes outstrips our resource.

“We have won many prestigious contracts, providing trackway for the Olympics, major infrastructure contracts with the National Grid, Wimbledon and a number of major outdoor festivals. We are winning new businesses almost on a daily basis.

“We were established in 2009, however our founders are the pioneers who created the industry back in the 1960s, so we aren’t short of expertise.”

This year and last, Lion was ranked 26th and 31st in the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 league of growing companies.

The firm received £400,000 in two grants from the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership ‘Unlocking Business Investment’ programme. Part of the Regional Growth Fund, it has led to £32m in central Government funding being allocated to Sheffield City Region.

Gordon added: “The money from the RGF enabled us to access other forms of funding and drive our expansion into the European market.

“We have been able to purchase the aluminium to build panels we need, as well as train our staff in the skills they require to work with clients in Germany and the rest of Europe.

“I would encourage any business across the region which intends to expand and create jobs to see what funding opportunities are available to them through the LEP.”

Coun Simon Greaves, leader of Bassetlaw District Council, said: “It is inspiring to see Lion Trackhire expand business on a global scale.

“I hope their success will spur on more businesses and entrepreneurs to apply to the region’s Regional Growth Fund. I will work to ensure that Bassetlaw’s businesses prosper.”

A company which provided infrastructure for the UK’s biggest events, including the 2012 Olympics and Wimbledon, has become a market leader of aluminium roadways and is now creating more than 60 jobs thanks to a grant from the Regional Growth Fund.

LION Trackhire, based in Worksop, creates temporary access solutions for construction projects and outdoor events, allowing access of pedestrians and vehicles over normally impassable terrain.

The firm, which has become the world’s largest stockholder of portable aluminium roadways, recently applied for – and won – two grants from the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), to support an expansion costing more than £2m.

The grants, totalling more than £400,000, have enabled LION to service increased demand across Europe, particularly in Germany.

This has involved investing in equipment, as well as training staff in areas such as language, customer service and technical know-how so they are better equipped to work in the rapidly – growing business.

Gordon McKay, general manager of LION, said: “We were established in 2009, however our founders are the pioneers who created the industry back in the 1960s, so we aren’t short of expertise.

“Our engineers have solved the impossible, from moving whole buildings in one piece to the world’s heaviest cranes, so it isn’t surprising that demand for our services sometimes outstrips our resource. This grant will help us expand further to meet those demands.

“We have won many prestigious contracts, providing trackway for the Olympics, major infrastructure contracts with the National Grid, Wimbledon and a number of major outdoor festivals. We are winning new businesses almost on a daily basis.”

This year and last, LION were ranked 26th and 31st in the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 league of fastest growing companies and recently won the Best Company (Under £23m) award in the Real Business, CBI/Lloyds bank UK Growing Business Awards.

The growth in renewable energy across Europe is seeing demand for trackway on wind and solar farm projects; for both installation and ongoing maintenance.

LION Trackhire’s expansion plans involve initially focusing upon renewable energy installations in Germany, having increased turnover in the last four years to over £16m.

They intend to double this within the next three years.

Gordon added: “The money from the RGF enabled us to access other forms of funding and drive forward our expansion into the European market.

“We have been able to purchase the aluminium to build panels we need, as well as train our staff in the new skills they require to work with clients in Germany and the rest of Europe.

“I would encourage any other business across the Sheffield City Region which intends to expand and create new jobs to see what funding opportunities are available to them through the LEP.”

Coun Simon Greaves, Leader of Bassetlaw District Council, said: “Bassetlaw is home to some truly world-class businesses and it is inspiring to see Lion Trackhire expand their business on a global scale.

“This is another example of Bassetlaw being a fantastic place to invest in and grow business.

“I hope Lion Trackhire’s success will spur on more businesses and entrepreneurs to apply to the Sheffield City Region’s Regional Growth Fund and, as Bassetlaw’s representative on the Local Enterprise Partnership, I will work hard to ensure that Bassetlaw’s businesses are given the best opportunity to expand and prosper.”

The grant funding for LION Trackhire has come from the LEP’s “Unlocking Business Investment” programme, which has seen £32m in central Government funding allocated to the city region.

Earlier this year, it was announced that the Sheffield City Region had secured a £320m “growth deal” from the Government, which will create more than 28,000 jobs and training for 40,000 people.

This is the fifth-largest sum to be secured of the 39 LEPs within the country. As part of the Sheffield City Region Growth Deal, the LEP secured a further funding from Government which will be used to support businesses to invest and grow.

For more information about Sheffield City Region LEP visit www.sheffieldcityregion.org.uk

Notes to editors

 Please find photographs attached.

 A large selection of additional photographs are available. Please call Jeni Harvey (details below) to arrange.

 Business benefiting from the grants are within the Sheffield City Region and paying business rates to Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales, Doncaster, North East Derbyshire, Rotherham or Sheffield councils.

 Grant funded companies are all independent businesses which have been established for more than 12 months and employ fewer than 250 staff.

 A clear case for the grant funding had to be demonstrated, with businesses being asked to prove that their project would not go ahead in the City Region, either as quickly or at the same scale, without grant support.

 For further information visit www.sheffieldcityregion.org.uk/rgf