A COMPANY is hoping to set up Britain’s ‘first national ship repair network’ following a takeover of a marine engineering firm.
Burgess Marine, which is already the biggest ship repairer in the country, has bought out Small and Co Marine Engineering, based at the port of Lowestoft in Suffolk.
Burgess Marine operates ship repair yards at Portsmouth Naval Base and at Trafalgar Wharf, Portchester.
Managing director Nicholas Warren said he was thrilled about the acquisition.
Mr Warren said: ‘This is a major strategic step in creating the UK’s first national ship repair network.
‘We’ve been working on this transaction for many, many months and it’s great to finally get it across the line.
‘We’re prepared to make a long-term investment in this business and in Lowestoft port.’
Small & Co had about 50 employees, who Mr Warren said would be ‘integrated into the Burgess team.’
The firm operates a dry dock and a 70m layby berth at Lowestoft’s port, which is owned by ABP.
Mr Warren said: ‘We’re looking for a long-term lease from ABP and we’re looking forward to securing the longevity of the yard, the business and the team that’s employed here.’
Small and Co joint managing director Paul Harper said: ‘By working with Burgess Marine we’re keen to bring more ships into the port and bring more work into the yard.
‘It’s been busy and it’s going to get busier.’
The company’s director for short sea ports, Andrew Harston, said: ‘We look forward to working with Burgess Marine as they merge with Small and Co marine engineering, who have been a long-time tenant at the Port of Lowestoft.’
Burgess, which is based in Dover, also has ship-repair facilities in Avonmouth, Poole, Marchwood, Southampton and Palma de Mallorca.
Services it provides include dry docks, ship lifts and marine electrical support.