Turnaround hailed at collapsed South Yorkshire metals specialist

From left: Steve Hartley, managing director of WEC Group, and Karl Stewart and Howard Kellett of MTL.
From left: Steve Hartley, managing director of WEC Group, and Karl Stewart and Howard Kellett of MTL.

A Rotherham metal fabricating firm is back in the black, has clinched a £3m contract and is set to receive a £1m investment three months after being bought out of administration by a rival.

MTL’s new owner, WEC Group, is also planning to launch an apprenticeship scheme at the company, based on Grange Lane.

MTL's factory on Grange Lane, Rotherham

MTL's factory on Grange Lane, Rotherham

The turnaround comes after MTL Group collapsed into administration in February with the loss of 157 jobs, following the loss of an overseas defence contract.

Some 135 jobs were saved after WEC, of Darwen, Lancashire, bought the business.

Wayne Wild, WEC commercial director, said he was delighted with the turnaround.

The newly-named ‘MTL Advanced’ had traded profitably in each of the three months following the deal - compared to month-on-month losses in the previous 12 months.

'MTL Advanced' factory in Rotherham.

'MTL Advanced' factory in Rotherham.

He said: “We have really hit the ground running. MTL Advanced is continuing to move in the right direction, thanks to the hard work and commitment of all the team there.

“We were delighted to win back the a major order that had gone away following administration and the investment programme we have announced will make MTL an even stronger operation.

“We’re looking for and securing new work through our existing customer base and with new customers and we have potentially got some very large contracts in the pipeline.

“The £1 million investment programme will see the installation of a new large bed laser cutting machine and a wet painting line at the Rotherham factory.

“And we’re also looking to recruit in certain areas as we continue to develop MTL.”

The partnership deal was completed in just three weeks and has created one of the largest laser cutting operations in the UK’s fabrication and engineering sector.

WEC Group, which was formed in 1979, has forecast a turnover of £60 million. It now employs 600 at eight sites in Lancashire, Yorkshire and Merseyside and serves industries including rail, automotive, nuclear, offshore oil and gas and aerospace.