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Dereham firm hopes to expand

PUBLISHED: 14:47 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 14:40 07 July 2010

A Dereham engineering firm providing highly specified equipment to the oil and gas industry has its sights set on a major expansion.

Heitz Engineering wants to build a new 5,400sq ft extension to its factory in Charles Wood Road on the Rash's Green Industrial Estate and has applied to Breckland council for permission for the build.

A Dereham engineering firm providing highly specified equipment to the oil and gas industry has its sights set on a major expansion.

Heitz Engineering wants to build a new 5,400sq ft extension to its factory in Charles Wood Road on the Rash's Green Industrial Estate and has applied to Breckland council for permission for the build.

The subcontract precision machining firm manufactures bespoke components for other companies - serving the oil industry and defence contracts as well as motorsport firms

The new building would be used to house machinery presently in a rented unit and the existing unit they own. This would then be used for growth, which would include new staff, said a joint director, Anthony Thomas.

“We are trying to take the company to the next level because we have run out of space,” he said. “We have bought seven new machines in the last five years and leased another unit.

“And we are fit to bursting.”

He said that over the last five years has taken on two new full time members of staff and one part time.

Turnover has increased 15 to 21pc since a management buyout in 2003 and the firm currently employs 10 full time and one part time staff.

And the outlook was bright.

“In manufacturing there is a huge level of potential,” he said. “Motor cars are not being sold but the medical, scientific and oil and gas sectors are strong. They have the money to reinvest to find the stuff in the first place.

“It is more important to have delivery and quality for them. People will stick with people they have always used.”

The application is dependent on an oak tree in the grounds which has a tree preservation order on it, he said. But hoped this could be overcome.

If the plans are thrown out Mr Thomas said the firm would have to consider relocation.

Heitz was set up about 30 years ago by Keith Johnson who left after the management buyout.

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