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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Market gap spied by Barrow business

A FLEDGLING Furness firm is dealing with energy giants despite being in its infancy.

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DEALING WITH ENERGY GIANTS: Athena PTS has won work with the likes of EDF Energy Renewables and E.ON Climate and Renewables. From left, technical director Keith Bennett and operations director Mark Skeels MILTON HAWORTH REF: 50039578B000

Athena PTS, which provides electrical design consultancy and project support services to the renewable energy, marine electrical, building services and infrastructure and utilities sectors, was formed by Neil Smith, Mark Skeels, Keith Bennett and David Shawcross last year.

The company has already won work with the likes of EDF Energy Renewables, E.ON Climate and Renewables, Schneider Electric and AECOM due to the reputation the owners gained while working for their former employers.

Mr Skeels said the company is working on the Fallago Rig Wind Farm development – a 48-turbine wind farm in Scotland – undertaking a quality assurance and consultancy support role to EDF-ER, the firm behind the project.

Despite humble beginnings the firm is winning contracts with some of the biggest companies in the energy sector and is already beginning to take shape as an important asset to the local economy, having nearly doubled its team of engineers and contracted the services of other local firms such as TI Payroll and Turnstone HR of Barrow and Moore & Smalley of Kendal.

Mr Smith said: “The time was right for us to start this company – we saw a gap in the market and we went for it.

“Despite the recession the renewables market is quite buoyant.”

Mr Skeels added: “We wanted to be a one-stop-shop for electrical advice and support.

“We provide engineering, operational and QA support to E.ON and we’re undertaking specialist electrical studies and design for Freedom Agrilek.”

Based in Phoenix Business Centre in Forge Close, Barrow, the firm has already moved into a larger office space and is currently in the process of further expanding its operations within the centre.

Phoenix Business Centre has proved to be an ideal base for the company going forward.

Mr Smith and his business partner Mr Skeels said working from the business centre has helped the firm build a solid base and enable them to get on with running the business.

Mr Smith added: “The main reasons we set up here were the ease of moving in, the facilities, certainty of cost and flexibility.

“At first all we had was a couple of laptops and we had no idea how it would pan out – despite our high hopes and desires.

“We’re hopeful and confident that Phoenix Business Centre can continue to provide the flexibility and services we require as we continue with our exciting and rapid growth in the professional environment within which we work.”

Following a hugely successful debut at last year’s event, Athena PTS be exhibiting at RenewableUK 2012 alongside other leading companies in Renewable Energy.

Mr Smith said: It’s a great opportunity to extend our business and keep up-to-date with developments in wind, wave and tidal energy.”

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