G&H Aims to Grow Business with Government-Backed Competitiveness Program

Ilminster, 7 September 2016

Sharing in GrowthGlobal leaders in photonic engineering, G&H has been selected for Sharing in Growth, a UK government-backed program which helps firms compete for increased aerospace business.

The company is aiming to double the turnover from its three UK manufacturing sites to over £70 million by launching a four year £7 million business transformation program with support from the government’s Regional Growth Fund.

The plants in Ilminster and Torquay in southwest England and Glenrothes in Scotland together employ 365 people, designing and producing precision optical components and assemblies, and fiber optic technology, for Tier 1 and 2 aerospace customers.

With almost 70 years’ experience in manufacturing optical components and crystalline materials, G&H is a global leader in photonics for the aerospace and defense, industrial, life science and scientific research sectors. In addition to sites in SW England and Scotland, the company operates a further facility in N Wales and five more in the US and offices, Germany and Japan. The Torquay factory this year won the Queen’s Award Enterprise: Innovation for Fiber-Q™, a compact fiber-coupled device that accurately modifies and controls laser beams.

Said Alex Warnock, Chief Operating Officer at G&H PLC: “Having successfully diversified our expertise into the aerospace and defense sector, we are keen to capitalize on the huge opportunities that exist for our advanced technology. The Sharing in Growth program offers us the opportunity to strengthen our business process capability and drive manufacturing efficiencies that will help us win new business and secure a bright future for our customers and staff.

Established in 2013, the Sharing in Growth (SiG) program is endorsed by Airbus, BAE Systems, Bombardier, GE, GKN, Leonardo-Finmeccanica, Lockheed Martin, and Rolls-Royce. To date suppliers on the SiG program have secured more than £1.15 billion in contracts and some 1700 jobs.

Each UK G&H site will participate in an intense four year SiG training and development program focused on leadership, culture and operational excellence. The SiG program makes normally unaffordable blue chip expertise accessible to smaller but ambitious suppliers because the training and development costs are supported by the Regional Growth Fund.

To achieve its growth ambitions, G&H will work with SiG to develop the organization and skills to implement robust systems and processes for new product introduction, production planning and control, lead-time reduction, supply chain improvement and increased productivity.

Said Sharing in Growth CEO Andy Page said: “We are delighted to welcome G&H to the program. They have leading-edge technology and an impressive customer portfolio and we are keen to help them fulfill their world-class manufacturing and business ambitions. With our support, the first 26 companies on the program have secured over £1.15 billion in contracts to date – around 20% of which is for direct export. Consequently we are well on target to hit our ultimate objective of safeguarding 10,000 UK jobs by 2022.

SiG’s 120-strong team of industry professionals specialize in lean operations, manufacturing engineering, procurement and cost and value engineering. They work with experts including The University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing, Deloitte, Industry Forum and the National Physical Laboratory to deliver a fully integrated change program.

With 50 companies already on the program, SiG is looking to recruit around ten companies with a typical turnover of more than £15 million and at least 100 staff to fill the remaining funded places. Companies interested in joining the SiG program can complete an expression of interest form which is available at www.sig-uk.org.

For more information on how G&H generates, controls, amplifies, connects, and measures lasers and light sources for aerospace & defense, industrial and life science applications, please visit gandh.com.

For further information on SiG, please contact:

Jinny McDonald-Matthews
Head of Communications  +44 7828 175842
Sharing in Growth UK Ltd