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Tinsley Bridge Group

Mark Webber urges firms to invest in R&D despite downturn

Hot Forging

Mark Webber, Managing Director of Tinsley Bridge Group, says that by continuing to spend on R&D and equipment throughout the recession they’ve been able to profit from new opportunities, particularly in overseas markets.

Tinsley Bridge Group’s three companies specialise in high-end, large-scale engineering, employing 170 people in Sheffield and exporting 70 percent of their products.

Mr Webber’s comments followed the publication of Deloitte’s Entrepreneurship UK report that shows half of all Northern entrepreneurs are either exporting to emerging markets or planning to do so.

Tinsley Bridge are diversifying away from the European truck industry into new markets and Mark believes firms need to keep moving to survive. “R&D is critical to keep the business moving forward.”

“Our company is over 25 years old and what I see is that the firms that are consistently successful have continued to invest in equipment and R&D throughout recessions, even if at times it requires a leap of faith. If you don’t keep developing new products then the competition will overtake you.

“Increasingly, we’re looking to expand our horizons away from Europe and the USA and into new markets in the Middle East, South America and South Africa.”

Kate Powell, Director at Deloitte in Yorkshire, said: “Entrepreneurial businesses like the Tinsley Bridge Group are at the heart of Sheffield’s economy and have the potential to revitalise the economy.

“Increasing revenues from international markets will be a critical element in securing strong, sustainable growth but they will need support and encouragement from government to fulfil that potential.”