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Helping a new engineering company to stand out from the competition - Proform Group

Proform Group


The “One Stop Shop” that serves a broad range of industries 

Here’s how Close Brothers Asset Finance helped a new and expanding engineering company to stand out from the competition, by investing in laser cutting machinery.

The customer

Based on the Wirral, Proform Group has created a one stop shop for all sheet metal processing and precision engineering needs by combining decades of engineering expertise with the newest fiber laser and 3D waterjet technology. 

Following much market research, company Director’s, Ian Hazlehurst and Russ Canner, planned to move the business forward by taking advantage of significant improvements in technology in recent years and the demand for advanced precision engineering services on an efficient production scale.

The challenge

There are local companies that have similar capabilities using CNC machinery for milling, turning, press braking, to name a few, but they do not have any significant modern laser, waterjet or hydraulic press brake machine capabilities and Proform realised by investing in this type of machinery would set them apart from the competition.

To enable Proform to become a one stop shop, three Bystronic laser cutting machines were required for all laser form and waterjet services including powder coating.  By having these machines in place, it would remove the need for outsourcing and Proform would be able to target a wide range of industries and meet a broad range of specifications which surpass that of its competitors.  In addition, the company also required an overhead crane and nitrogen plant.

The solution

Reviewing the company’s requirements, Liam Ryan, Area Sales Manager from Close Brothers advised a Hire Purchase product with a three month VAT deferral would be the ideal solution. This would enable Proform to pay a deposit against the required assets and at the end of the six year term; the assets would belong to them. Additional funding was also secured through the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) which assisted towards payment of the full deposit.

Furthermore, the purchase of these machines would help to create 23 full time jobs of a combination of skilled and semi-skilled employees and with an apprentice scheme to follow.

The outcome

Speaking of the deal Ian Hazlehurst said: “Initially we conducted extensive market research and identified a significant demand for quality laser, waterjet, fabrication and powder coating services within the North West of England. Now with the assets in place, we can output at twice the speed of our competitors, using a broader range of materials and without the costly wastage. These efficiencies and savings can then be passed on to our customers.

The support and advice from Liam and the team at Close Brothers has been invaluable. We are now in the best possible place to take the business forward with future plans.”