Huge deal for expanding Hartlepool firm

Joan Cook of UK Steel Enterprise with Simon Ayre of BEDC at the Innovation Centre in Hartlepool.
Joan Cook of UK Steel Enterprise with Simon Ayre of BEDC at the Innovation Centre in Hartlepool.

A young Hartlepool company has signed a £500,000 contract just weeks after marking its one-year anniversary.

And for BEDC, its a big contract for a firm which specialises in façade design for buildings.

Joan Cook of UK Steel Enterprise with Simon Ayre of BEDC at the Innovation Centre in Hartlepool.

Joan Cook of UK Steel Enterprise with Simon Ayre of BEDC at the Innovation Centre in Hartlepool.

BEDC was set up by director Simon Ayre in UK Steel Enterprise’s Innovation Centre at Hartlepool. It has already more than doubled its office space to cater for an 11-strong team of designers and technical experts with more expected to come on board soon.

And now there’s more good news to celebrate with the £500,000 contract.

It is part of a £10m project being undertaken by a UK organisation in the education sector and is a significant step up for BEDC.

The company has already secured numerous contracts, worth between £50,000 and £100,000, for new build and refurbishment projects at hospitals, a university, a station and offices in London.

We have grown considerably faster than all our projections. There is every likelihood that we will need even more office space soon

Simon Ayre

BEDC has increased staff numbers steadily over the first year with each new contract and that looks set to continue. Mr Ayre explained why the latest deal could mean further changes.

“We have grown considerably faster than all our projections,” said Mr Ayre who has 15 years experience in engineering and façade design.

“There is every likelihood that we will need even more office space soon.”

BEDC moved into a 400 sq ft office in June 2016 but now has 1000 sq ft in the Innovation Centre’s Hub Two to house its eight full time designers, Technical Manager, Structural Engineer and other staff.

BEDC’s success is being attributed to a decision to invest heavily in 3D Building Information Modelling (BIM) software and provide specialised training for all the company’s design engineers.

“We are amongst the leaders in smaller companies using this system,” said Mr Ayre. “It is why we have a Technical Manager and there is no doubt that it’s enabled us to work with larger companies and organisations.

“Façade design is a highly specialised area of architectural and engineering practice and the vital importance of getting this part of the building design right has, tragically, been brought into sharp focus recently.

“Façade design covers everything that you can see on the exterior of a building. It’s the outer shell that maintains the correct environment and climate control, linking the external and internal, so it’s a highly complex part of the building design.

“I am delighted that we have been able to recruit locally and find people, including some former SSI employees, with the initial skill-set and attitude we need. We have invested time in both training and staff personal development which has resulted in BEDC having a great team who are all very committed to growing the business.

“UK Steel Enterprise has been very supportive, finding us the new office space when we needed it, and the Innovation Centre is an ideal place for us,” he added.

Joan Cook of UK Steel Enterprise said: “Our Innovation Centres are specifically designed to support new and growing businesses and we always do our best to find additional office or workshop space for companies that need it. BEDC has grown quickly so we are very pleased that we were able to move the team into the bigger office that they needed.”