A NORTH EAST architectural practice has shown its mettle after being named as lead architects and engineers of a major £26 million industrial development on Teesside.

Building Design Northern (BDN Ltd) has been appointed to bring to life British Steel’s new processing facilities at Skinningrove, marking the company’s largest investment in its special profiles business for more than 30 years.

British Steel has experienced strong growth for its products in recent months, particularly those used in the mining and construction sectors, and the new built-to-spec service centre will see the company bring to market an extended range of value-added profiles for the forklift industry.

Richard Marsden, managing director of BDN, said:

“The continued investment by British Steel into Skinningrove will provide a huge boost to the Tees Valley’s historic steel industry and we are delighted to be working closely with the company to help bring this exciting project to life.

“As a practice with offices in the North East and the North West, we know just how important developments such as this will play in helping ‘level up’ the North as we bounce back from the pandemic and we’re incredibly proud to be involved, and building on a strong track record of designing and engineering industrial buildings.”

Work on the new facilities is expected to start late 2022 with commissioning expected to start in August 2023. The large scale of the scheme will involve a wide range of contractors covering a vast array of skills, from construction to turning and milling expertise to automated warehousing companies.

BDN has been supporting national and international clients for 35 years and last year moved into a new head office on the outskirts of Sunderland city centre, creating 14 jobs with a further 10 to be created over the next 12 months as the company continues to expand.

Mr Marsden added:

“I’m enormously proud of the BDN team, who have shown incredible resilience and skill over the past 18 months to ensure the business has continued to grow during the pandemic and we aim to continue increasing our headcount as we re-emerge from the pandemic and help get the UK building again.”

The £26 million project forms part of a £100 million investment over the last year by Jingye Group to improve British Steel’s manufacturing and environmental performance.

British Steel’s Commercial Director for Special Profiles David Waine said:

“This is an exciting project that will establish us as a leading manufacturer on the world stage. Our high-quality profiles are supplied globally to make components for a wide range of market sectors, such as the forklift and earthmoving industries, and many of these applications are extremely demanding.

“Our investment means we’ll have world-class products manufactured to the tightest of tolerances. It will enable us to explore new growth opportunities for our forklift mast products in Europe, North and South America, India and Asia. And although our primary product offering will be for forklift mast production, we expect to be able to expand this to include other product applications too.”

Mr Waine added:

“These projects are taking our profile offering from strength to strength. But it’s not just our series of investments that’s making the difference, the innovation and skill of our teams to think differently, identify new opportunities and implement them effectively is really transforming the products and services we’re able to offer. In the last 2 years alone, we’ve achieved an impressive 9 product patents and it’s this continued entrepreneurship that is driving our business forward.

“The market is becoming increasingly competitive. But by continually innovating and developing our processing capabilities in line with customer requirements, the outlook is bright.”

Source: British Steel / BDN

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