13/03/2013

Safety first as Safety Technology expands with backing from Finance Wales

Safety Technology, the leading safety training and equipment provider is planning further global expansion with the backing of a six figure loan from Finance Wales.


Established in 2002, the Monmouthshire-based safety specialist started life supplying the utilities and telecoms sectors with safety equipment for work at heights.  In 2009, Managing Director, Bob Dickens spotted a lucrative opportunity to branch out into safety training for the growing wind energy sector.

Safety Technology has been expanding its training operations ever since, establishing a joint venture with a leading Spanish Operation and Maintenance company now part of WEIR group, and a partnership with Grand Rapids Community College in the US. Today the company delivers a full range of safety training and equipment to industry leaders such as Vestas, Gamesa, DONG Energy, RWE N Power, ALSTOM and Suzlon.

The UK currently has 796 offshore turbines generating 2,679 megawatts of electricity, including the recently completed London Array - the world’s largest offshore wind farm project to date.  A further 3.8 gigawatts of generating capacity is under construction.

Bob Dickens commented “The UK is already the world leader in offshore renewable energy and with so many wind turbines currently under construction, the demand for safety training continues to grow.  Diversifying into training has already given our business a significant boost and we’re well-placed to continue expanding. Finance Wales’ investment has provided us with the capital we need to set up a new offshore training facility in the North  East close to a significant market for us. We can also establish operations in other strategic locations thoughout Europe.”

Safety Technology’s new training facility will focus on critical safety requirements of working on offshore wind turbines, such as safe vessel transfer and rescue and evacuation of technicians.  Planned facilities for Great Yarmouth will ensure the company is well positioned for the upcoming construction of wind farms off the East coast.

Investment Executive, Sam Macallister-Smith of Finance Wales worked on the investment with Safety Technology’s management team: “Safety Technology has successfully penetrated a new and growing market in the last four years.  Thanks to the drive and commitment of its management team it is now a well-regarded global training provider. The Renewable energy sector is an exciting one and still has considerable potential for further growth.  Safety Technology has an impressive understanding of its customers’ needs and developing new services. Finance Wales’ investment will enable Safety Technology to take advantage of this.”

Seamus Gates from Broomfield & Alexander’s corporate finance team advised Safety Technology on the investment.  He said:  “We were delighted to support Safety Technology in raising funds to enable them to capture growth opportunities in their specialist sector.  Our experience of working with Finance Wales smoothed the application process and enabled the directors to concentrate on running the business and building a strong base for their future development.”

Finance Wales’ investment comes from the £150 million Wales JEREMIE Fund. Headquarted in Raglan, Safety Technology provides an extensive range of onshore and offshore safety courses, high-quality safety equipment, as well as health and safety consultancy.
 
The company is accredited by both RenewableUK the wind and marine energy trade body, and the Global Wind Organisation (GWO).