FOODMEK, the Tayport-based engineering firm, is targeting a further leap in turnover as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The firm, which designs, makes and installs engineering solutions for the food, drink, cosmetic and pharmaceuticals industries, has seen a 13 per cent rise in turnover this year, and is forecasting revenue expansion of 33% next year.

The company said it has seen growth since it received the first tranche of £500,000 Scottish Loan Scheme funding from Scottish Enterprise in November 2019.

Foodmek said it enabled it to invest in new equipment, innovation and more engineers in its design office and factory.

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The firm said the move has allowed a dedicated focus on Research & Development.

The funding also allowed it to recruit and train more staff through graduate, modern and foundation apprenticeships, which it said is a core part of its strategy to prepare for the retirement of its most experienced staff

Foodmek now employs six design staff and is hiring two more modern apprentices to add to the pair recruited last year. Overall, eight people joined Foodmek last year, with five more planned this year.

The move, coupled with the production of 25 high-specification vessels for a Covid-19 test kit maker, is said to have helped Foodmek bounce back from a decrease in orders caused by the Covid-19 lockdowns around the world.

“During the end of our fiscal year ending May 2020, we saw an impact of the global pandemic," said Scot Kelly, managing director. "However in the current fiscal year we’ve seen a 13% increase in our turnover and are projecting a further 33% increase during our next fiscal year.

"This has also seen our headcount increase from 32 to 43 over the last two years.

“Thanks to our success in the current financial year, we met all the requirements from Scottish Enterprise to draw down the second tranche of our Scottish Loan Scheme loan. This has enabled us to invest in a new ERP system and new equipment.”

Funding from the Energy Saving Trust has also enabled the purchase of an electric pool car for customer visits while work from existing and new food industry customers has also driven with a “healthy” order book in place.

Foodmek also said it plans to continue to invest in the community through employability talks and other programmes.