A FAST-GROWING laser- cutting business plans to create jobs and introduce an extra shift this year.
Only set up last year, Q Laser has won contracts from companies across the North East, Scotland and down into the Midlands.
Managing director Geoff Gibson started the laser-cutting business initially to service his metal fabrication company Dale Fabrications, which works with global names including Nissan, Komatsu and Caterpillar. The firms operate from neighbouring premises on the Dubmire Industrial Estate.
“Dale was subcontracting a lot of laser cutting, but the scheduling problems it caused us with late deliveries were becoming a major issue,” said Geoff.
“We needed our own machine to eliminate this problem, but as the initial costs were so high, I felt we needed to offer the service to other businesses to spread the load.”
Now between 75 and 80 per cent of Q Laser’s workload comes from external customers. The business employs six staff and Geoff is considering starting a second shift to cope with demand.
“It has surprised me how many companies require a laser-cutting service outside the engineering sector. The possibilities for expansion are endless,” he said.
“I’d like to see the continuation of steady growth, the creation of new jobs, and financial security for all our employees.”
Geoff turned to Sunderland City Council’s business development team for advice.
“Neil Clasper, the council’s senior business development officer, has been a pivotal part of our growth. His knowledge, advice and general support were exemplary,” he said.
“Houghton has proved to be an ideal location, it’s perfectly suited for our existing customer base.”