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Solent LEP Helps Island Business Relocate for Future Growth

10 November 2015

Island business Solent Composite Systems Ltd has yesterday (9th November 2015) relocated to new premises in Cowes with the help of a £75,000 grant from the Solent LEP's Bridging the Gap impact fund.

Solent Composite Systems Ltd (SCS), who have been based on the Island for over 25 years, are a global leader in the design and manufacture of high performance composite fire and blast protection solutions for the oil and gas industry. The new premises will allow the company to consolidate its operations, safeguarding 24 jobs at the firm, and accelerate its expansion plans to create at least 3 new jobs on the Island. 

Speaking yesterday at a Solent LEP Business Support Event in Newport, Matthew Chalk, Managing Director of Solent Composite Systems, said: 

We at Solent Composite Systems are grateful to the Solent LEP for their timely support with our business relocation plans.  The new premises are a state of the art manufacturing centre from where our company can continue to develop and export high value ProTek® products to oil and gas projects worldwide.

Solent LEP Director and Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, Cllr Jonathon Bacon, said: 

This is excellent news for Solent Composite Systems, a stalwart Island business, and for the Isle of Wight too.  I am very pleased that the receipt of LEP funding will enable expansion and job creation, further bolstering the Island’s economy in the advanced manufacturing field.  The composites sector is one in which the Isle of Wight now has a great history and heritage.  The sector has now consistently provided new jobs, higher value jobs for local people and with the Isle of Wight College’s planned Centre of Excellence the future looks bright.

The event was hosted by the Isle of Wight College, who have been backed by the  LEP through the Solent Local Growth Deal to bring forward a new £10.9m Centre of Excellence for Composites, Advanced Manufacturing and Marine Technology on the Island.  

Debbie Lavin, Principal of the Isle of Wight College, said: 

We are delighted to see construction underway on our new Centre of Excellence, which will support the development of a world-class workforce and STEM provision in the years ahead. The Island already has considerable experience in composites in the marine, renewables and aerospace sectors so it is fantastic to be able to further develop this and enable young people to develop these high end skills our businesses need.