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Brooksbank Industries

UKTI helps Skipton company break into new markets.

A long-established family engineering firm in North Yorkshire is branching out into new markets overseas – thanks to advice and support from UKTI.

Brooksbank Industries, based in Skipton, North Yorkshire was established in 1865 and made processed leather belting for the textile industry. After the Second World War, the business diversified and began producing marine valves – mainly for the Navy. This business – Brooksbank Valves thrives to this day.

In 1992 Jonathan Brooksbank – the grandson of the original founder – took over as MD. Brooksbank Valves now employs 23 people and is primarily focussed on supplying its range of ball valves to a new market – the international oil and gas industry.

Andrew Wain, Sales and Marketing Director for Brooksbank Valves Ltd said:

“ For the last six years, Brooksbank has concentrated on growing the oil and gas side of the business. It’s a niche market, but we’re not without our competitors. It was imperative we made the right contacts in the right places – and quickly.”

Houston, Texas, is the hub of the international oil and gas industry. Drilling and offshore processing platforms commissioned in Houston are likely to be manufactured or adapted in Singapore and used in offshore oilfields from Brazil to Nigeria.

Andrew contacted Steve Richardson, UKTI’s International Trade Advisor at Business Link York and North Yorkshire for some advice.

Steve said:

“We’d worked with Brooksbank in the past to help them identify their key markets and establish useful contacts in the States, through an OMIS report.

“This time I was able to help the company with a TESS application which helped them with the costs of attending the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston – the key trade show for their business.”

The grant helped toward the considerable cost of purchasing display materials and literature, commissioning several cutaway models of their products and exhibiting at the Conference.

Andrew continued:

“ The effect was immediate. In four days we had a massive amount of interest and some clear leads. Ten days after we returned we secured a $50,000 order, and we are currently working on another very large order we obtained as a direct result of going to Houston.

“UKTI have been fantastic. We’ve had a massive amount of help and guidance from Steve, who has helped us through the whole process of applying for the grants. We couldn’t have done it without their help.”

A second TESS grant has enabled the company to attend a second trade show in Rio, and Brooksbank Valves is currently looking at the possibility of applying for a third grant to attend an upcoming conference in Malaysia.