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Sunderland engineering firms expand on site where bosses served as apprentices

Gary King of 4B Fabrications, Cllr Harry Trueman of Sunderland City Council and Steve Forbister of 4B Engineering and 4B Fabrications.

Gary King of 4B Fabrications, Cllr Harry Trueman of Sunderland City Council and Steve Forbister of 4B Engineering and 4B Fabrications.

FRIENDS and business partners Gary King and Steve Forbister have gone back to where it all began.

The pair have returned to the site where they served their time as engineering apprentices to set up a joint base for their sister companies as both continue to expand.

4B Fabrications, originally started in 2012 to support 4B Engineering, moved to the Pennywell Industrial Estate when it outgrew its premises in Washington.

Now 4B Engineering has taken the other three units in the same block.

Gary King 4B Fabrications and 4B Engineering’s managing director Steve Forbister is also a director of the fabrications business.

“Both myself and Steve served time for Alto Engineering which was based in these units,” said Gary.

“Now we’ve taken the whole block of units here, and it’s brought them back to life which is great news for the area, and makes sound business sense for 4B.”

4B Fabrications has clients in deep sea operations, automotive and food industries, and is looking to expand its staff numbers in line with the growth of its customer base.

4B Engineering, which has a staff of 12, has been in business for nine years and works with standard engineering materials as well as exotic metals and plastics and supplies services for the food manufacturing sector and automotive industries.

“The reason we set up the fabrication business was because the engineering side was subcontracting fabrication work,” said Gary.

“Steve approached me and asked if I was interested in setting up a fabrication business and keeping the name 4B, so it’s a known name for customers. It’s worked well, and we’re now growing our own customer base as well.”

Sunderland City Council assisted the businesses with the move. Deputy leader Coun Harry Trueman said: “The success of the two 4Bs and the way they have worked together to bring more work into the city’s economy should be applauded.

“We’re delighted to see the two firms based together in Sunderland and are confident their success in Pennywell will play an important part in attracting more businesses to the industrial estate.”

 

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