Bury company with parts in navy’s new aircraft carriers saved

Stanref parts are in Britain's future flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth  MoD Photo: LPhot Dan Rosenbaum
Stanref parts are in Britain's future flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth MoD Photo: LPhot Dan Rosenbaum
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Jobs at the Bury St Edmunds engineering company Stanref have been safeguarded by its sale as a going concern

The sale followed the appointment of Mark Upton and David Scrivener of Ensors Accountants as joint administrators of Stanref, which employs 24, on September 29.

Mark Upton of Ensors Accountants

Mark Upton of Ensors Accountants

The manufacturer of pressure vessels and heat exchangers for the refrigeration and oil and gas industries had been experiencing difficulties and called in the services of Mr Upton, business recovery and turnaround partner at Ensors, to help.

Stanref is a supplier to Royal Navy refrigeration contractors and made components for the new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.

He said: “Stanref had some challenging issues but from the outset our focus was on trying to secure a sale of the business as a going concern and to secure the continued employment of the long serving, skilled and loyal work force and I am delighted that with the sale to Damsle we have been able to achieve that.”

Damsle is a privately financed investment house specialising in supporting small and medium businesses in East Anglia and the Home Counties, particularly those with strong reputation which it feels have the potential to scale up.

Adrian Howlett, partner in Damsle, said: “Demand for air conditioning and heat exchangers is still in a growth phase.

“Stanref has a unique position in the supply chain which Brexit outcomes could help benefit, so we are pleased to be able to support this long established, Bury St Edmunds-based business.

“With some reinvigoration and focus, we expect the business can build on its reputation for quality product and start to scale up activities. If that can be achieved we can provide greater certainty and security for the workforce.”

Damsle acquired the business through a company specifically set up for the purpose and will trade as Stanref International (2017) Ltd.

Stanref has been a leading manufacturer of pressure vessels and heat exchangers for the commercial and industrial refrigeration industries since 1982.

Over the past decade it has also served the oil and gas, petrochemical and process sectors which now make up a significant portion of its turnover.

Stanref is also a supplier to Royal Navy refrigeration contractors and made components for the new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers.

At its 2,044sq ft factory it offers a design and manufacture and can supply components to other clients’ own designs. Its devices are used in water process, compressed air driers and pneumatic powder handling.