News - 28 October 2014

Export chief visits Derbyshire-based Manthorpe Engineering as they announce new turnover targets

East Midlands’ export chief, Alison Zhu visited Ripley-based manufacturing outfit Manthorpe Engineering today, to hear how the business will be driving significant expansion over the next five years, with help from exports and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

The privately owned mid-sized business (MSB) is a precision machinist and fabrication specialist for the aerospace, power, defence and nuclear sectors, working for companies such as Rolls-Royce and Siemens.

The firm’s engineering division, which has a turnover of around £20 million, currently exports 60% of its goods, mainly through customers in Canada and continental Europe, and is looking to boost turnover to £30million in the coming years from national and international growth and help from UKTI.

During the visit Alison Zhu, UKTI East Midlands Deputy Regional Director said:

“This firm is a fantastic example of a thriving British manufacturer. Their investment in technology, people and equipment is apparent from the incredibly impressive operation they run here in Ripley.  Their facilities and loyalty to the local community are testament to the firm’s commitment to growth – they have invested £2.5 million in machinery this year and taken on 40 apprenticeships in the last 10 years.  They demonstrate what exporting can do for mid-sized businesses and we are keen to help them do even more.”

The business, which was listed at number 82 in the HSBC Sunday Times International Track 200 this year, will be branching into other sectors such as the oil and gas industry in a bid to further cement sales and exports. The International Track 200 ranks Britain’s mid-market private companies with the fastest-growing international sales.

Mark Elliott, Business Development Director, said:

“We are committed to growing the business, and aim to reach turnover of £30 million by 2020. Exports will of course play a significant role in this.  We have been working on developing relationships in India, Italy and France with support from UKTI, who helped us build contacts overseas and arrange meetings with customers. 

“We are hoping to develop an even stronger and more fruitful relationship with UKTI and with their help, we can gain some leverage in our other target markets.” 

“We have a very committed and highly skilled workforce of over 160 people in the engineering division. As we grow, we will look to recruit more from the local community, especially through our respected apprenticeship scheme.”

Alison added:

“I’m impressed by what I’ve seen today. The company is clearly committed to growth and they are continually investing in their business for the benefit of the local community, and the local and national economy.  They are a great example of an already successful exporter who have the ambition to grow their international operations with the support of UKTI.” 

Currently only 17 per cent of the UK’s MSBs generate revenues outside of the EU compared to 25 per cent in Germany and 30 per cent in Italy.

She continued:

“Export Week is approaching, offering a range of activities and events from 10 to 14 November, and UKTI’s flagship event –the ExploreExport Roadshow – will give companies the chance to get specific advice in pre-bookable one-to-one meetings with trade experts who have travelled from over 60 countries across the world. As Manthorpe demonstrates, businesses excel with UKTI’s support and we want to make sure that they are not just trading abroad, but thriving there.”

For more information or to sign up to events visit, contact UKTI East Midlands on 0845 052 4001  or email

Follow us on Twitter @ukti_emids

ExploreExport takes place on Thursday 13 November at The Radisson Blu Hotel, East Midlands Airport.

To sign up for ExploreEXport visit

Find out about other events taking place across the region during Export Week by visiting

Follow UKTI East Midlands on Twitter @ukti_emids and take part in the conversation using #ExportWeek

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