An innovative company is looking to ramp up its expansion into the oil and gas sector after moving to new premises in Barrow.

Forth Engineering first landed in the town a year ago, but quickly outgrew its premises in Peter Green Way and has now taken over a new bigger base in Flass Lane.

The Flimby headquartered company is already firmly established as a world-leader in nuclear decommissioning, but has been steadily expanding into oil and gas, with Barrow an obvious choice, according to its managing director Mark Telford.

“We knew we couldn’t rely on nuclear decommissioning so much, and with new build stalling and stalling and stalling, with couldn’t rely on that either,” he said.

“In the past as much of 90 per cent of our business has come from Sellafield, but now it is only 10 per cent. That’s a big transition and we’ve worked closely with Sellafield on it because they are encouraging businesses like ours to do it.

“We've been successful with subsea projects at our head office in Maryport, so it was a natural transition to move down to Barrow and expand.”

The Barrow office is being headed up by operations manager Tony Sneesby, a former employee of Oil States, which moved its Barrow operations to Scotland last year to “consolidate” its UK operations.

The focus of work is to make, crimp and test umbilicals which carry power leads to subsea templates under extreme pressure 5,000 feet underwater for Barrow-based One Subsea.

It is also a supplier to Spirit Energy and will soon embark on new projects for BAE Systems. The company is also eyeing opportunities in the marine, renewable and process industries.

“The potential here for Forth Engineering is massive – there’s a lot of work for us to get into,” said Mr Sneesby.

Graham Cartwright, projects director at Forth Engineering, which also has a premises at Leconfield Industrial Estate in Cleator Moor, said he was excited with the continued Barrow expansion.

 “A lot of the technology we have built up in nuclear fits with oil and gas, so it has been easy to transfer from one to the other, using the experience of Tony and the team,” he said.

The Forth Engineering team has now grown to 47 staff, ten of which are based in Barrow.

Read more about Forth Engineering’s work in the latest edition of in-Cumbria magazine by clicking here.