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Hull company Towne Lifting & Testing has completed work on a significant contract for specialist engineering firm Spencer Group.

John Elliott, of Towne Lifting & Testing, with Neil Armstrong, of Spencer Group.

Spencer has designed and constructed a facility for the handling, storage and rail-loading of wood pellets at one of the UK’s major ports. The new facilities will handle up to 1.8m tonnes annually of wood pellets.

Following a rigorous tender process, Towne Lifting & Testing, which specialises in lifting and securing equipment, secured a contract with Spencer to supply and install hoists at the site during construction.

Director Tom Towne believes the company is in a stronger position to win competitive tenders thanks to business support and advice through the Green Port Growth Programme, supported by the Regional Growth Fund, which has been designed to help businesses in Hull and the East Riding capitalise on renewable energy supply chain opportunities.

He commented:

“It’s been fantastic to win work with Spencer Group on such a prestigious project. We’ve worked on offshore wind contracts previously, but this is our first biomass one, so we hope this will open doors to future opportunities.

“Securing work through tenders is an area where we were often unsuccessful due to lack of understanding of the process. However, in October 2016, the Green Port Growth Programme reviewed our business and identified our need to sharpen up our sales methods, which included improving our handling of tenders.

“Through the programme’s advice and guidance, we gained the confidence to submit tenders and manage them better, which has paid off. We have a few tenders in the pipeline at the moment, so we are hoping this will become a solid source of work for us in the future.”

Neil Armstrong, Head of Procurement at Spencer Group, commented:

“We have found Towne Lifting & Testing to be very professional, helpful, open and easy to work with all the way through the procurement process to the delivery work on site. Our approach depends on excellent stakeholder relationships, and Towne has fitted in perfectly as part of the team, getting about their work efficiently and proactively engaging with Spencer and our partners.

“We firmly believe in working closely with our preferred supply chain partners, and helping them grow their business along with ours. Towne Lifting & Testing is a proven fit with our way of working, and we look forward to more involvement with the firm in the future.”

Towne Lifting & Testing initially enrolled with the Green Port Growth Programme in October 2014, as employees from the company were interested in attending workshops to learn more about the renewables industry and the supply chain work available.

The firm registered on the Green Port Growth Programme’s Business Directory four months later, which led to work with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Ltd.

Dawn Hall, Project Manager for Green Port Growth Programme’s Business Support strand, said:

“We find that business reviews are so valuable to companies that want to win work in the renewables supply chain, but are perhaps finding it challenging. We are here to help firms understand the national picture, make them aware of opportunities available and how they can access them.

“Our work with Towne Lifting & Testing resulted in a direct introduction to a prospective partnership opportunity, as well as improvements to its sales strategy, which has helped the company win contracts. New work has led to the recruitment of four new employees, including a full-time member of staff based at Alexandra Dock, in Hull.”

Hull City Council Leader, Councillor Stephen Brady, speaking on behalf of Green Port Hull, said:

“It is excellent to see Hull businesses benefiting from renewables supply chain opportunities, not only here in our region, but across the UK. It is also another great example of a local business benefiting from Green Port Hull advice and support.”