Business has never been better for one metalworking firm based in Brighouse, West Yorkshire.
Founded in 1991, Arkoni Metalwork provides bespoke architectural metalwork for commercial and residential building projects across the UK and Ireland and is a perfect bell weather for the state of the UK construction industry.
Managing Director Mark Prentice explained:
“We are operating at near full capacity, continuing our recruitment and currently looking to invest in new automation technology and processes to cope with demand.
“Even at the height of the construction boom in the early 2000s we were not seeing the levels on enquiries and conversions we are currently experiencing now.
“As a manufacturing firm we are perfectly placed to benefit from this progress. So many of our competitors were unable to survive the recent recessions and that makes for a leaner market in which to operate.
“Main contractors have a much shorter supply chain these days and reliability has become a key issue. That has undoubtedly played into our hands and we are seeing unprecedented levels of interest in the fire-rated glazing, canopies, balustrading, bespoke staircases and other architectural metalwork features.
“As a result we increased turnover by 20% to £4 million last year and fully expect to see 25% growth this year. We’ve already recruited ten new employees this year and that will only increase in the coming months,” added Mark whose firm recently notched its biggest order to date with a £500,000 contract to supply glazed walling, staircases and balustrading for a major new sports venue in the East Midlands.
Arkoni is currently in the process of applying for grants to install CNC automated technology and has just completed a significant investment in new project management software.
“These are all signs that the construction sector is beginning to spark back into life and companies like ourselves are a great indicator of the progress being made,” concluded Mark.
A recently opened retail park in North Wales is just one of many projects around the UK to have benefited from Arkoni’s craftsmanship.
Parc Prestatyn, a new development situated in the centre of the North Wales tourist resort, opened its doors to shoppers in early March 2013 and features a range of outlets including established ‘names’ Marks & Spencer, Poundland, Costa Coffee, Next, Boots, Tesco and River Island.
Arkoni manufactured and installed glazed canopies, using 21.52mm toughened and laminated glass with a PVB interlayer, on shaped steel tee arms for each of the retail units within the park which has already created over 650 jobs for the local economy.
Operating under the auspices of main contractor Marshall Construction, who started on-site the summer of 2011 and DLA Architecture of Wakefield, Arkoni installed the canopies over an eight month period between May 2012 and January 2013.
A spokesperson for DLA Architecture commented:
“The canopies provide a stylish and effective complement to the architecture of the retail park and the fascia design for each unit.
“The type of canopies supplied by Arkoni help to protect and reinforce the storeholders’ brands as well as providing a welcoming entrance and protection from the elements for shoppers visiting the park.”
Mark Prentice, MD and founder of Arkoni in 1991, explained:
“We’ve developed quite a reputation when it comes to adding stylish, safe and secure additions to retail destinations. From the Trafford Centre to the Victorian Silver Arcade in Leicester, Arkoni’s manufacturing expertise can be seen right across the retail spectrum.
“Parc Prestatyn is a great example of what happens when innovation is delivered by all of those involved in a project and we’re delighted to have contributed to the end result,” added Mark.
For more details visit www.arkoni.co.uk