Access specialist is taking business to new heights after acquisition

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 26 Nov 2018

A MAJOR plank of a significant phased expansion has completed for Scunthorpe-based Caspian Access and Plant Hire Ltd, as it creates the single-biggest scaffold board production site in the UK.  

The Midland Road access specialist has invested in new premises, transforming the former Jack Tighe site on the neighbouring junction with East Common Lane, as it enhances its footprint following an acquisition. It, and additional land acquired, brings with it capacity for substantial further growth.

Last December Caspian bought out Gainsborough company John Brash. Eight staff and the machinery for grading and assessing the safety-critical boarding transferred, with an Immingham facility absorbed into the central location too. It is on target to turnover £16 million this year.

Neil Garrison, managing director, said: “John Brash was the biggest scaffold board producer in the country. Part of the deal was we had to move the facility from where it was, and this is the new facility. We now have a site here, once finished, that will give us a capacity of two million boards a year, with what we had before and what we purchased. 

“Next year we will be looking to expanding and increase volumes.” 

It is a 100 per cent increase from where the business was a year ago, with 50 people now employed across the business. End-to-end, the boards at full capacity would stretch 5,000 miles, more than reaching the rapidly-developing Middle East countries it can be traed back to serving, and the region it takes its name from.

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Launched by Grimsby exporter Bob Tyler, who remains a shareholder, his generalist operations picked up on the demand for scaffolding in the late Seventies as the UAE, Iran and the wider area emerged as a strong market. 

Domestic operations followed, with Mr Garrison joining and Caspian being formed in 1992, developing in Scunthorpe, with Hull and an enhanced Grimsby depot operation following. Not only does it now supply the vital plant, but provides safety training and is a recognised grading site for the industry standard. 

Expansion has been supported with new funding facilities from Barclays, with further land purchased across East Common Lane through the bank’s Northern Powerhouse Fund. “We’ll be looking to put a building on there in the next two years,” Mr Garrison anticipated.  

He added: “We’ve been growing organically since we started out in 1992, and we have worked alongside Barclays for many years and they recently funded the acquisition. This new funding deal has enabled us to secure more land so that we can build an additional facility for our rapid expansion plans. We’re thrilled that Barclays has been able to support us with very tailored funding solutions for our continued growth plans and to take the business to the next level of our trading ambitions.”

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The £500 million Northern Powerhouse Growth Fund was established to inject investment into businesses, and targeted at established businesses with ambitious growth plans, start-ups with high growth potential, companies with early-stage equity funding and businesses focusing on innovation, research and development, and technology.

Chris Rushworth, a Barclays relationship director, put together the funding package for the deal. He said: “Caspian Access and Plant Hire is a great example of a thriving business that is expanding for the future and contributing to the local economy. The new funding from our Northern Powerhouse Fund will enable the company to increase stock and reach new markets and we’re delighted to be able to support Neil and his team with their growth ambitions.”

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