Edwards Engineering, the multi-disciplinary engineering firm based in Perth, is celebrating its first 50 years by setting out an ambitious growth strategy for its second half century.

The 60-employee firm, whose clients span the Food and Drink, Manufacturing, Agricultural and Construction sectors, has expanded sales at an annualised 20% since being bought from its founding family in August 2016.

It expects to boost turnover from the current £7.5 million to £20m within the next three years. It plans to do this by focusing on its existing Customers and expanding its delivery capacity, while aggressively seeking new skills and capacity via strategic acquisitions. 

One of the best-known family-founded specialist companies in Scotland, the mechanical, structural and electrical engineering firm has a proud record of delivering landmark projects, and of boosting the region’s stock of technical skills. Apprentices make up 20% of its 40-strong engineering workforce.

Based at a 3-acre, 45,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Perth, Edwards’ projections are made on the strength of its delivery record, and its focus on extending its five decades of technical problem-solving expertise, combined with strong customer service.

Key recent projects include the installation of the new furnace building and ancillary equipment at Superglass in Stirling, installation of a new Blend Centre for Broxburn Bottlers, the upgrade of the malthouse at Crisp Maltings’ Port Gordon site and replacement and new grain processing facilities for Alexander Harleys Seeds, Alexander Inglis & Son and Moray Estates. The firm are is currently working with coffee wholesaler, Aimer’s Coffee and Tea, in Dundee, and The Lakes Distillery, near Cockermouth.

Chief Executive Ben Carter, whose career has included roles at Rio Tinto and Babcock International, and hails from ‘the other Perth’, in Western Australia, said that the firm’s future depended on its ability to find fit-for-purpose solutions for customers, and to implement them safely, and on time. The firm is exploring strategic acquisitions that can improve the breadth and depth of its technical offering, as well as extending its geographic reach further in the UK. The firm has already been in discussion with several potential partners.

Ben Carter said: “We are keen to grow the business. When we bought Edwards two and a half years ago, we saw a solid reputation to build upon and a multi-skilled and committed team. Long-term relationships, based on our ability to solve problems for our clients, will continue to be the driving force behind our growth.”

“Our job is to find solutions to deliver the best outcomes for our clients. Our in-house skillset is a relatively rare combination – there are a lot of firms that specialise in any one of those disciplines, but there is not a huge number that can take on the sorts of multi-disciplined projects we do, with their own drawing office and extensive fabrication facilities.”

“We are proud of our long history, however we know we are only as good as the last project. Our focus is on ensuring that the client is completely satisfied with what we do – if things go wrong, we just get on and fix the issues. We are hopeful that with that culture, everything else takes care of itself. The real indication of whether we have been successful in a job is if we win the next project with that Customer, and the next project after that”.

He added “We want to steadily grow the Edwards business and to make selective acquisitions in the engineering sector UK-wide. We are actively looking at businesses that either have succession issues or are non-core to bigger engineering groups where, through further investment and improvements in productivity we can realise significant revenue synergies.”

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