As family businesses go, Jobling Purser has real pedigree. It can trace its history in the North East back five generations to the 1830s.
The firm specialises in bitumen emulsification and other highway maintenance products, and runs a successful asphalt production facility in Newcastle.
It has just invested £2.3m in a new asphalt plant at Hespin Wood, north of Carlisle. This started production in March, initially employing five people with the potential to create more jobs as production increases.
The investment was made possible by a £49,500 Cumbria Growth Fund grant, facilitated by Cumbria Chamber of Commerce through the Cumbria Business Growth Hub.
John McCreary, Finance Director at Jobling Purser, believes the new plant would never have opened without this assistance.
He said: “The directors decided that the new plant was the way forward.
“But we were moving from an established position in Tyneside to opening a new plant in Cumbria. That was a big step for us.
We are a very capital-intensive business and we weren’t going to risk all that shareholders’ money without other funding in place.
The state-of-the-art Benninghoven TBA 3000 plant is equipped with a three-tonne mixer enabling up to 240 tonnes of mixed product to be produced every hour. It can also mix small batches of just one to two tonnes if needed.
It is capable of producing a wide range of coated materials and uses the latest technology to minimise the amount of waste going to landfill.
Plant Manager Steve Larkin said: “Operationally this plant is of the highest quality in both design and build and with its high capacity and flexibility.
“I am confident that we can deliver an excellent product and exceptional service to all of our customers.”
Cumbria Growth Fund was set up after Cumbria Chamber of Commerce took part in a national competitive tendering process to secure £4m from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.
Manufacturing businesses like Jobling Purser have been able to apply for grants of between £10,000 and £1m, whereas the minimum applying directly to the Regional Growth Fund is £1m – ruling out many smaller projects.
The fund has supported 44 businesses with £3.8m of grant funding, helping to create or safeguard 520 jobs and lever in £25m of private sector investment.