New Lease of Life for Kilwinning-based Engineering Firm

21 Jan 2019

John Murphy, owner and Managing Director of Murphy Engineering (Scotland) Limited, has given a new lease of life to what was once William Engineering and its staff by buying the business from its owner Maureen Harrison who was keen to retire.

As a metal engineering specialist, William Engineering, established in 2007, had built an impressive reputation in the manufacturing of stainless-steel products for customers in a wide range of sectors including retail, automotive, manufacturing and pharmaceutical.  The high quality of work was continuously maintained due to John, then Operations Manager of William Engineering, who was in charge of the day-to-day running of operations and managing customer expectations.

When the company came up for sale in 2017, questions were raised about the future of the business and its loyal staff.  John was in no doubt that he had to step in to ensure that the business continued.

Exploring all avenues available to him, he approached Team North Ayrshire of North Ayrshire Council.  A Business Adviser was assigned to him and after detailed discussions and number crunching by an accountant supported by the team, he was advised to apply for a loan from Business Loans Scotland to allow him to purchase the business.

With continuous support from the Council and Business Loans Scotland, John successfully secured a loan of £68,970, to buy the business and promptly named it Murphy Engineering, in July 2017.  

“The process was made simple as my Business Adviser was wonderful and made sure I had every bit of help to get my application and documents in shape. The whole process took just 6 weeks.  Without their support, I wouldn’t have known where to go.” says John.

With this injection of cash, John was not only able to buy the business, but he was also able to sort out the financials and transfer the assets to his new firm to start a new chapter of this thriving business.  This buy-out marks the first-ever assisted by Business Loans Scotland and has proven that the loan scheme is ever flexible in its application.

Now that he is the owner, John has big ambitions for Murphy Engineering which he plans to phase in.  He has recently taken on 2 Apprentices and will be looking for a Junior Machinist to add to the 12- strong staff.  He will also be investing in upgrading machines and is already meeting suppliers about it.  All this will allow them to work the machines at 82% capacity in order to continue meeting customer delivery dates.

Staff training and achieving ISO standards are also priorities and both the Council and Business Loans Scotland are confident that they can support these elements.  John has a very realistic view to growth as he wants to ensure that they can build from the foundations he has laid over the last 11 years.

To ensure that quality standards and customer satisfaction are achieved time and time again, he realises his biggest investment has to be in his staff and machinery so these are the areas which he will focus on first.

John added, “We are here for the long run.  I have worked hard to ensure that this business continues well into the future and now that I am in charge, I have a clear vision for our growth.  BLS and Team North Ayrshire have helped tremendously when I came up against barriers.  It has given me the chance to move this business forward and slot all the key pieces into place.  Now my staff and I will work our hardest to ensure we continue to have a bright future.”

Speaking of the loan awarded, Fund Manager for Business Loans Scotland, Andrew Dickson said:

“I am absolutely delighted that Business Loans Scotland has been able to support Murphy Engineering. I wish them well in growing their business and look forward to watching them develop and flourish. I am also delighted Business Loans Scotland has been appointed as one of the Fund Managers under the Scottish Growth Scheme and look forward to being able to support many more Scottish businesses, like Murphy Engineering, access debt finance.”

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