Scandanavian business links in Ellesmere Port
PUBLISHED: 16:45 05 January 2012 | UPDATED: 20:52 20 February 2013
Recession? What recession? Arena Instrumentation in Ellesmere Port is looking northwards and bucking the trend Words by Carl Nagaitis
The print version of this article appeared in the January 2012 issue of Cheshire Life
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While the rest of Britain was talking about economic challenges and the threat of a double-dip recession, Cheshires Arena Instrumentation, Britains largest independent calibration and maintenance service provider, celebrated its 25th year in business by establishing new overseas bases in Sweden and Denmark.
The technology management specialists headquartered at Ellesmere Port had identified Scandinavia as a promising source of new business opportunities thanks to the hard work of business development director Lucy Robertshaw and her fellow directors Kevin Dobson and Gary Moseley.
They identified Scandinavia as a promising first step for the expansion ambitions of Arena managing director David Dawe and Ms Robertshaw made several trips to both countries to carry out detailed research into their viability as Arena outposts.
The business plan produced was clear and unequivocal, said Mr Dawe, speaking from his Ellesmere Port office. Establishing a presence in both Sweden and Denmark would present the company with some significant new opportunities for further growth.
Our research showed there were a large number of Scandinavian businesses operating in sectors in which we have a wealth of experience.
And the bottom line was that they had the potential to become our clients. Our expertise in calibration, laboratory equipment maintenance, technical support and asset management will be of interest to potential clients among the pharmaceutical, R&D and healthcare companies that operate in and around Southern Sweden and Northern Denmark.
The plan was to establish bases, staff them with locally recruited employees including highly qualified technicians and engineers and offer businesses within the region access to the comprehensive and cost-effective services that we have developed here in the UK over more than two decades.
Although the company took advice from the UK Trade and Investment Northwest (UKTI) over their expansion plans, Mr Dawe believes the key players in the Scandinavian project were the team of directors who made it happen.
Lucy and the Arena management team followed through by doing intensive research, compiling detailed reports, backed up with facts and figures and even a business growth plan. Their argument for Scandinavia expansion was compelling, added Mr Dawe.
Ms Robertshaw, who lived in Marton near Congleton before relocating near to Arenas new Swedish office said: I have had invaluable assistance from the highly qualified Swedish investment support team since arriving here. Their knowledge of the region and their advice has been invaluable.
Back at their UK HQ, Mr Dawe said Arena, whose clients include Rolls Royce and Astra Zeneca, had committed to investing 250,000 in establishing its first overseas posts.
He said: Our teams have worked on projects across Europe, the USA and further afield so we know Arenas skills and expertise are valued. We have also known for some time that expanding overseas was the natural next step for our company which has enjoyed consistent growth from day one. Now we have taken the first step into a new adventure for the company and I am confident we will be successful especially as we now have our first Swedish director on board, Jan Petersson.
However, while the Scandinavia team were hard at work setting up their new overseas bases, Mr Dawes UK employees were tasked with organising a celebration of the companys first quarter century in business. And staff from the companys Cheshire, Loughborough, Gloucester and Scandinavian offices gathered for an evening at the races.
Mr Dawe told his staff: This is an important milestone in our companys history and one that I wanted to share with all our staff. We have experienced continued growth culminating this year with the opening of our first overseas bases in Sweden and Denmark.
That success is based on the skills, hard work and commitment of our teams who are experts in interpreting client requirements and delivering the solutions that will exceed their expectations.