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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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£1m loom will lift firm

A £1M investment is allowing a wire company to fence off a bigger share of the market.

Tornado Wire, based in the Devonshire Road industrial estate in Millom, has bought a new £1m wire loom in a bid to boost its share of the fencing market.

The company produces more than 300 types of wire, from barbed wire to camel fencing.

Its Millom factory employs 47 members of staff and the installation of the new loom to produce its reinforced Torus range has created three new jobs.

Torus is a stronger wire and the first product Tornado has made with a 50mm (two inch) spacing.

Machine operator John Barnes travelled to New Zealand to research the loom which will help Tornado produce their strongest wire yet aimed at the equine market.

The factory produces around 10,000 tonnes of wire per year around, 30 per cent of which is exported into Europe.

Jonathan Miller, operations manager at the Millom factory, said: “Europe is growing faster than the UK market.

“Our exports have seen a 50 per cent gain in the past four years – there is a lot of opportunity for us.

“The new loom will allow us to effectively bid for contracts we could not have bid for in the past.

“We’re going for it, we took advantage of help from the regional growth fund and we took on more people.”

Torus is made up of continuous horizontal and vertical wires, joined with a high-pressure bonded knot, which provides four-way movement resistance. The wire will be primarily focused on larger animals including horses and cattle.

Kenny Campbell, managing director of Tornado, said: “We’ve led innovation in the industry since the 70s when we introduced high tensile fencing to the UK.

“It’s a real testament to the hard work and expertise of every single person at Tornado that, even as the economy continues to flatline, we’re in a strong position to create new jobs and continue our programme of investment into new products like Torus.”

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