Innovative laser firms sees resurgence in Midlands Manufacturing

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Staffordshire based laser cutting specialist Laser Process is enjoying impressive growth so far in 2012 as a direct consequence of diversification and a buoyant Midland manufacturing sector.

The company has hit the £5 million turnover mark for the first time in it's history, after securing a healthy amount of repeat business from some of the region’s largest manufacturers and an increasing number of new customers.

Managing Director David Lindsey says: “Business is buoyant now, things seem to be picking up and we’re benefiting from it. I think manufacturing in general seems to be having resurgence in the West Midlands. Confidence seems to be returning to the economy and all the talk at the moment is quite positive. Everyone is fairly optimistic about the future and I think the West Midlands is a great region to be in manufacturing at the moment. I’m confident the business is going to have a good year.”

The tough economic climate in recent years encouraged the firm to diversify, securing a lucrative contract to produce 240 life-size statues for installation along Britain’s footpaths and cycle ways as part of the project led by transport charity Sustrans. This has seen the company produce mimics of famous figures such as Gary Barlow, Stan Laurel, Rob Brydon and footballer Ledley King in their respective local areas, affording national exposure to the handiwork of the Midlands firm.

Mr Lindsey adds: “Sustrans are focused on improvements to the UK’s cycle ways and footpaths. Most of that is attributed to quite substantive projects like building bridges over rivers but there is also a certain amount of money for what they call portrait benches that feature the statues. The subjects are all chosen locally and represent a mixture of local celebrities, figures from history and local symbols. The statues are installed with the benches which are made of recycled railway sleepers and we’ll have manufactured just over 240 statues when the project is completed. The commission represents a significant contract and exposure of our skills nationwide.”

Another public art project the company was involved with was the creation of a stainless steel statue in Lichfield to commemorate Erasmus Darwin, a renowned scholar and grandfather of Charles Darwin. The work, which will be officially unveiled in May 2012, was one which held particular resonance for David: “I was born in Lichfield so it’s particularly nice to be involved in something like that happening in your home town” he said.