Spending locally to grow skills and safeguard engineering

South Shields based Metec UK has signed the South Tyneside Pledge and is determined to help grow the region’s engineering base by sub-contracting locally.

Set up in 2016, Metec UK’s primary business is supporting the offshore wind industry. The sacrificial anodes it manufactures are fixed to many steel structures destined for subsea installation to prevent corrosion. It currently employs around 40 staff and has become a key supplier to many of the large offshore wind farms off the coast of the UK, Germany, Holland, Baltics and France and globally.

Last year the company secured a major contract from Dogger Bank Wind Farm. For commercial manager Graeme Crow, what happened next was a perfect example of the South Tyneside Pledge in action.

He explains:

“We’ve got a philosophy that when we win a big project, we are determined to try and keep as much of that investment as possible local.  Our work is largely self-contained but, whenever we can, we subcontract to companies in the South Tyneside area.

“The Dogger Bank Wind Farm project was a five to six million pound project. Despite doing the vast majority of the work in-house, we do subcontract some work. On this occasion, we spent over a quarter of a million pounds with local suppliers & services to support and assist us to deliver high profile projects of this nature.

Metec Cathodic Protection’s Technical Manager Paul Wheeler, left, and Commercial Manager Graeme Crow, right, with staff having signed the South Tyneside Pledge.

For Graeme and his colleagues that spend has a far greater value than just keeping investment local. He adds:

“By spending locally – we’re keeping engineering companies busy and that filters onto other smaller businesses which allows them to take on more workers. It’s in everybody’s interests to grow those local skills and increase their availability. It helps them take on more engineers and more apprentices. We must get more people involved in engineering because this area is steeped in it and, although it’s coming back with green energy – we came very close to losing that forever.”

For Invest South Tyneside, Metec UK’s loyalty to the area represents the epitome of the pledge. Not just their dedication to recruiting and spending locally but also Metec UK’s expertise in the offshore wind industry makes it a significant part of the region’s growing green energy expertise.

Cllr Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council and Chair of South Tyneside Partnership, said:

“For a company that works across Europe, it is inspirational to see Metec UK’s commitment to South Tyneside. Their passion for the work they do for the offshore industry shines through, as does their pride in the heritage of the North East and the skills and expertise we have here.

“Businesses like Metec are vital. The employment is vital, the investment is vital, bringing sizeable contracts to the North East is irreplaceable but also so is their energy and ambition and desire to grow supply chains and subcontractors with them. They are a wonderful example of the South Tyneside Pledge in action.”

Organisations, public and private, big businesses and small firms, can sign up at any time and become part of the Pledge South Tyneside network at

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