Image: Steely determination: local metal cutting company booming following council grant

Steely determination: local metal cutting company booming following council grant

Posted by Aahmed on 26 Sep 2016 at 10:30

Local company Kerf Steel is cutting edge, thanks to a council grant that has enabled the business to buy new equipment and employ four new members of staff.

The grant means that the Queensway-based specialist steel supplier is now one of only a handful of companies in the UK with a particular machine which uses water to precision cut steel. The grant provided by the council means Kerf no longer has to import products from China and the Czech Republic, cutting costs considerably and bringing production and jobs back to Rochdale.

Richard Farnell, leader of Rochdale Borough Council, said: “It’s great to see manufacturing coming back to Rochdale and the impact it’s had here at Kerf is clear to see.

“I’m constantly amazed by the innovations that are taking place right here in our borough. There is some really high-tech stuff going on in Rochdale and some of our companies are the only one in the country doing what they do.

“Successful businesses mean skilled jobs for our residents and more money in the local economy, so we all benefit from this kind of innovation.”

Kerf Steel, which was set up last year, mainly supplies the specialist fabrication, construction and agriculture industries and also exports to countries including Kenya and Malaysia.

As well as receiving support from Rochdale Borough Council and Rochdale Development Agency (RDA), Kerf has benefitted from advice from the Rochdale Growth Advisor from the Business Growth Hub. The Hub brings together specialists with experience in starting and growing a business, accessing finance, increasing sales, using digital technology, upskilling and staff development, business infrastructure and launching new products or services. Greater Manchester businesses can all tap into this fully funded support.

Kerf Steel Director Dan Taylor, from Littleborough, said: “Before we installed this machine, we had to import lots of semi-finished products from China and the Czech Republic, which could take weeks to get to us. We can turn things around much more quickly now, which has obvious benefits to our business and our customers.

“We’re looking at a big increase in turnover this year, so I’m expecting us to employ another three or four people over the next 12 to 18 months, to add to the four people we’ve just employed. At some point we’ll need a bigger site, but we’ll be staying in Rochdale. The support we’ve had here has been great and it’s got other benefits too. You’re on the M62 corridor, so can get everywhere easily, and I also think there’s an untapped skilled workforce here in Rochdale. I believe in this borough and think it has great potential for growing businesses.”

Companies which would like to find out more about doing business in Rochdale can contact Carol Hopkins or call Rochdale Development Agency on 01706 868999.

Any entrepreneur or business owner with growth potential who would like advice from the Business Growth Hub can visit: