Blackburn precision engineer invests £1m in growth plans

By Tim Aldred

13 Jun 2023

Dobson + Beaumont With Blackburn Council

Blackburn-based Dobson + Beaumont is planning to double its turnover after investing £1m in its property, machinery and workforce.

The company is a thread rolling specialist working on projects as wide-ranging as parts for Formula 1 cars, wind turbines andengines for large boats. 

Family run for more than 100 years, it was acquired in a management buyout in 2021, after which the large-scale investment plan began.

Since then, the company recorded 60 per cent growth in 2022 and predicts a further 40 per cent growth in 2023.

The latest investment has been a new Sliding Head CNC machine which has been installed with the support of a £20,000 grant provided by Blackburn with Darwen Council.

Richard Guest, managing director of Dobson + Beaumont, said: “The level of history in this business meant that the knowledge and the way it was run was fantastic.

“Since the buyout in 2021, we’ve been able to build on that and have literally gone through the business from top to bottom investing in everything from the building to machinery and skills.

“We’ve seen rapid growth and are on course to double our turnover while creating another seven new jobs this year which is just brilliant.” 

Growth Lancashire helped the firm apply for the £20,000 A2I grant from Blackburn with Darwen Council.

Councillor Quesir Mahmood, the council’s executive member for growth and development, said: “Our borough has a strong reputation for being a place to invest and we’re absolutely committed to supporting businesses here and helping them thrive.

“This is a brilliant example of how our council grants can help businesses have the confidence to invest – unlocking new job opportunities, including apprenticeships and skilled roles. 

“It was fantastic to visit Dobson + Beaumont and see first-hand the impressive work they are doing, including the parts for the Formula 1 cars, and hear about how they plan to keep building on their success."

Rich history

Thomas Dobson set up the metalworking business in Morton Street, Blackburn, in 1917 and was quickly joined by his two sons, Frank and Stanley.

After making caterpillar tracks and shell casings during the Second World War, the business developed into thread rolling specialists during the latter half of the 20th Century, something that Richard says makes the firm special.

In 1965, Philip Dobson joined and led his grandfather’s business for 50 years, including its merger to become Dobson + Beaumont in 1978.

Richard says: “We work to an incredibly high spec with quality being our absolute priority.

“We’ve already invested £500,000 in new machinery over the last two years and the grant from the Council has given us the confidence to add to that with the new Sliding Head CNC machine.

“It will help us be even more productive and help with our goal of being quicker than our competitors.

“Our focus now is on our workforce too – bringing in young apprentices to train up while recruiting skilled new staff to help us keep moving forward and keeping up with the huge demand for our products.”

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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