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Vehicle body manufacturer Martin Williams Ltd has taken on 25 staff over 6 months as part of an expansion project – months earlier than expected.

The company has invested £1m to increase capacity and efficiency by doubling the size of their facility room from 25,000 to 50,000 sqft, to accommodate the creation of two 23-metre energy efficient spray booths and a new mechanical department workshop.

The project, which has been supported a £130k grant from the Humber LEP’s Growing the Humber programme, aimed to create the 25 jobs over two years.

However, the workload has grown so quickly the staff are already in place after receiving orders from local companies such as Wren Kitchens, MKM and Kingstown Furniture. The company is also now set up to compete on a national level.

The jobs range from technical managers and workshop personnel to support staff and apprentices.

They make up some of the 1500 jobs created with support from the £30m Growing the Humber Scheme, which, administrated by North East Lincolnshire Council, now has more than 50 business growth projects in contract.

Nick Williams, Director of Martin Williams Ltd, said:

“This project to expand our businesses was essential to meet the demand of customers and without it we could have seen the business shrink because we would not have been as competitive.

“We can now compete in both a local and national market and the growth has been unbelievable with things really taking off straight away, which is why we have had to bring forward taking on the new staff.

“Without the Growing the Humber RGF grant we would not be able to expand our workshops to the extent we are doing now which means we would not have been able to take on some of the work we are now able to undertake.

“We are also really please with the support from other local businesses which has helped us to thrive. Through this project we have also been able to bring benefit to local businesses through the work we subcontract.”

Chris Williams, also a Director at the family business, said:

“We have some exciting times ahead of us now with our state of the art premises and a high quality of skilled local staff.

“We intend to bring the company to the forefront of the vehicle bodybuilding, repair and paintwork industry, therefore bringing more jobs and business to East Yorkshire.”

David Kilburn, Chair of the Humber LEP investment panel, said:

“It is great news that the project at Williams has got off to a flying start and growth has exceeded their expectations.

“Their project was a perfect fit for the Growing the Humber fund which was able to help them with a grant, which in turn has helped to supported the economy by providing jobs and more business for subcontractors.

“We urge any businesses that have a stalled growth project where the Growing the Humber Fund could help to fill in an expression of interest form and return it before the end of the month.”

The Growing the Humber fund was created from winning £30m from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund bid to help stalled growth projects get back on track.