The first cut

PUBLISHED: 12:18 28 September 2006 | UPDATED: 12:02 04 May 2010

FIRST STEP: From left, Steve Cox, from Barclays Bank, Mark Pettit from MARS Construction, John Ison  and David Littlechild, who is Shearline’s chairman and founder.  
Photo: HELEN DRAKE

FIRST STEP: From left, Steve Cox, from Barclays Bank, Mark Pettit from MARS Construction, John Ison and David Littlechild, who is Shearline's chairman and founder. Photo: HELEN DRAKE

ELY mayor John Ison broke the soil at Shearline Precision Engineering on Thursday to mark the start of construction of a 10,000 sq ft extension to its existing premises. The new facility will accommodate Hybrid Laser Tech, the Cambridge-based precision l

ELY mayor John Ison broke the soil at Shearline Precision Engineering on Thursday to mark the start of construction of a 10,000 sq ft extension to its existing premises.

The new facility will accommodate Hybrid Laser Tech, the Cambridge-based precision laser cutting company it acquired last year.

Representatives from EEF, Ely Rotary Club, MARS Construction, Barclays Bank and several Shearline customers and partners attended the event, which included a company presentation and a tour of Shearline's current 57,000 sq ft premises.

The new building, a two-storey custom-built construction, is due to be completed in the spring of 2007, and will feature a number of state-of-the-art environmental features such as rain water collection and usage and energy from wind power. Linked to the current Shearline factory, it will enable Hybrid Laser Tech to be an integral part of the company's service offered to its customers.

Shearline Precision Engineering, based in Ely for more than 16 years and employing about 160 staff, continues to grow while many industry commentators lament the downturn in British

manufacturing.

David Lonsdale, sales and marketing manager, commented: "The acquisition of Hybrid Laser Tech in August last year represented the next step in our strategy to strengthen and extend the range of services we offer for the benefit of all our customers.

"We're delighted that after all the planning, work is underway to create a custom built home for the staff and equipment of our Hybrid Laser Tech operation, here in Ely with the rest of Shearline."

Following the turf cutting ceremony, David Littlechild, Shearline's chairman and founder, presented the mayor with a cheque for £500, on behalf of Shearline and Barclays Bank, for the 2006 Mayor's Charity Fund.

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