drain TRADER

World-renowned engineering company uses lockdown to

accelerate growth Growth plans could help Industry recover as restrictions ease


K-based Forth Engineering is known for providing world-first solutions to industrial challenges all around the globe.

The Cumbrian-based company, with bases in Maryport, Cleator Moor, and Barrow, moved to remote working during the lockdown.

But while some companies have scaled back their operations, Forth has fast-tracked its expansion plans to come back even stronger.

Forth is building three new offices at its headquarters at Maryport, doubling the size of its retail space at its trade counter, making more use of its 68,000 square-feet base in Cleator Moor as an innovation hub, and recruiting six new members of staff - four mechanical/electrical engineers and two design engineers.

Forth’s managing director Mark Telford said: “The lockdown has given us time to reflect and look at our business and it has concentrated our minds on what areas to focus on so we come out the other side leaner and even stronger.

“We have been planning how our sites will operate, in line with social distancing regulations, when they reopen as restrictions are eased.

“We are ready to be first in the queue to provide solutions when a range of different industries come to us with their problems.

“We are carrying out a refurbishment of our offices at the Maryport site and making a significant investment to build three new offices.

“We are also extending the trade counter to open up the first floor - effectively doubling the size of the retail space - so that we can stock PPE and other items which businesses are telling us they need.”

It’s all part of a £150,000 investment to help Forth achieve social distancing, which also involves utilising the company’s Cleator Moor base as a hub for product development and innovation, where world-first products like its pioneering Friction Stir Welding Robotic Crawler (FSWbot) will be developed.

Forth's FSWbot has been designed for internal repair and refurbishment of pipelines which can be used by a range of industries across the world without having to stop production.

Mark said: “We are looking to spread our people around our sites more to ensure social distancing.

A disinfecting robot developed by Forth during lockdown has now gone into production at its Maryport base. Forth has already sold eight of its disinfecting cannons to industries preparing their sites to welcome back workers as lockdown eases.

Forth has also supplied vital equipment to help hospitals and care homes.

Forth has sourced 24,000 items of PPE - 12,000 gowns and 12,000 masks - to be donated to West Cumberland Hospital, and local care homes after members of Unite, GMB, and Prospect unions at

64 drain TRADER | June 2020 |

We are considering our innovation side of the business being based at Cleator Moor. It’s that technical side of the business which we need to get moving again.

“All these steps we are taking now, and have been taking, are about adapting our business to the new ways of working.

“It means that as soon as customers reopen, in whatever industry that might be, we have already made our changes and are ready to help them.”

Forth has been active on a range of fronts during lockdown, including developing new products in the fight against COVID-19.

Forth’s disinfecting robot

Sellafield raised £30,000 in a community fundraising campaign.

Members of Forth’s own staff have also donated and delivered more than 2,000 masks to community hospitals and nursing teams.

Forth has also provided support to a volunteer group who have been sewing and making scrubs for NHS staff and other front line carers. It has given up its office space at its Cleator Moor base for free to charity organisation Scrub Hub North West which delivers to local hospitals and volunteers’ homes.

Every Thursday evening, Forth, along with Mossop Construction Services and a host of other businesses, have been travelling in a cavalcade of 175 large vehicles on a fundraising “Appreciation Tour” in aid of local health and care workers.

Mark said: “We’ve been doing this to raise money for PPE for hospital staff and care workers who are doing such an amazing job and to help lift people’s spirits in the community.”

So far “Appreciation Tour” organisers have smashed their initial £1,000 fundraising target and have raised more than £5,000. Their new target is £10,000.

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