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Redundancy spells success for five.

A fledgling firm is bent on success, thanks to support from Sunderland City Council's business investment team.

Induction Pipe Bending UK Ltd was founded in summer 2005 by five workmates faced with redundancy.

The five, who have a combined experience of more than 70 years, are: Andy Stewart, 37, Peter Wharton, 40, Jim Cairns, 55, Phil Graham, 52, and Mick Last, 39.

And they have witnessed a meteoric growth in their business venture.

They have completed more than 150 UK contracts in just eight months.

Their firm is one of only three in the UK that bends pipes using induction heating technology.

These pipes provide for markets such as oil and gas production and power generation.

The firm is about to export to South Africa for the first time.

And they are on course to increase their six-strong workforce later this year. Director Andy Stewart said: "We quickly realised this venture would require a great deal of personal commitment, which would drain both our time and finances ( particularly since we even had to fabricate our own equipment from scratch.

"The grant support from the council has been a tremendous help, as it has enabled us to cover our rent costs to free up funds for new equipment.

"In the beginning we could only serve a small number of companies, but with support from the council we have been given the means to realise our potential and secure a number of new contracts and export abroad, allowing us to create more jobs in the future."

Neil Clasper, senior business development officer at Sunderland City Council, said: "Induction Pipe Bending has already proved to be a great success and is a superb example of business development in Wearside.

"Having worked with the business from day one, I'm really pleased to see it growing so rapidly."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 11, 2006
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