Hull-based Sondia Lighting today officially opened its new factory at the city’s IPark development, as part of its plans to exploit the emerging opportunities within the low carbon and renewable energy industries.
Through significant investment in new premises, plant and equipment, including CNC machines, the company has doubled its current manufacturing operations.
The move follows the sale of Sondia Lighting by Humber Electrical Engineering Company (HEECO) to Bradford firm Southgate Lighting in June 2016. Southgate recognised Sondia’s expertise in manufacturing marine lighting for offshore support vessels and light fitting enclosures for biomass operations, and saw the potential to grow this niche area of the business.
Since the takeover the business has recruited an additional five members of staff, and has plans to recruit a further 10 over the next three years.
The relocation and investment has been assisted by the Green Port Growth Programme, supported by the Regional Growth Fund (RGF), which provided £100,000 of capital funding for the equipment and unit fit-out.
Gordon Taylor, Managing Director at Sondia Lighting, commented:
“The grant from the Green Port Growth Programme has contributed to a significant investment in Sondia Lighting, which will help us take advantage of more opportunities in the growing renewable energy sector. It has also helped us retain existing jobs in the city and create further employment.
“We already have some major renewables projects in the pipeline and we are looking forward to building on our credentials and accessing further opportunities here in our region.”
Tim Rix, Chairman of the Green Port Growth Programme, commented:
“Sondia Lighting is one of the first businesses to receive a business investment grant through the Green Port Growth Programme. They are a fantastic example of a local firm that is building on its excellent reputation and market experience to win more work in the renewables industry.”
Leader of Hull City Council, Councillor Stephen Brady, said:
“Supporting businesses to flourish in the city is one of our key long-term goals, and the investment will not only secure existing jobs, but create further roles which are central to the delivery of our current and future aspirations for Hull.”