Funding will help firm double its staff numbers

Leone Hill

Unemployment fallen by half in last five years, figures show

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A PORTSMOUTH firm will double its staff numbers after securing a massive investment from the Business Growth Fund.

Magma Global, which has its headquarters in North Harbour, has been given £8.76m towards a fund to build a facility on Southampton Water to test its oil and gas pipelines.

The new facility will enable Magma to manufacture 155 miles of carbon fibre pipes each year and recruit 100 new staff.

The company was founded in 2009 by Martin Jones, Damon Roberts, and Mike Boyd, and this latest development caps off a remarkable two years for the firm, which has grown from five employees to a total of 90 working over three sites.

The subsea market – the underwater technology related to the oil and gas sector – is one of the fastest-growing areas of the oil and gas industry, with UK expertise leading the world.

Pipelines are estimated to account for more than half of the £86.3bn spend on such underwater hardware over the next five years.

Martin Jones, founder and CEO of Magma Global, said: ‘Our ambition is to build Magma into a large export led manufacturing business founded on leading edge technology and the best engineering talent.

‘In the last two years we have grown from a team of five to a total workforce of 90 and an order book of in excess of $70m (£43.5m).

‘BGF has taken a flexible and accommodating approach to this investment round which has smoothed the process of integrating with the needs of our current investors and the management team. This has been very important to us.

‘We are delighted to welcome Mike Sibson from BGF to our board. We look forward to working with BGF to build a significant UK manufacturing business.’