Some of the 22-strong Welland Power workforce with two 320kVA diesel generators, worth about £25,000 each and heading for Egypt. Managing director Charlie Farrow is in the centre. His father John is on the right, next to Malcolm Wiles who this month celebrates 40 years with the firm.

The Spalding family firm generating big export sales

The manufacture of diesel generators is powering a Spalding firm into a key force in international trade.

Export sales at Welland Power have soared by 59 per cent in the past two years, to £10.6million in 2016. That sent the firm crashing into The Sunday Times’ Fast Track SME Export Track 100 league table for the first time.

“It came as a bit of a surprise,” said managing director Charlie Farrow (36). “I only had confirmation that we would be in it two days before it was published.”

Business is booming to such an extent that Charlie has had to call on retired dad John (62) – the immediate-past managing director – to make a return to the shop floor to help clear the orders.
With Charlie’s sister Emma Corrigan one of the seven office staff, Welland Power still has a family feel to it 67 years after the siblings’ granddad Russell put the then Welland Engineering into gear.

From its base in Horseshoe Road, it progressed to Water Lane, then to Cranmore Lane in Holbeach.
Six years ago the former Turners Turkeys premises in Clay Lake provided the perfect platform for the business’s next significant step.

Investment in the factory and machinery has improved output and efficiency. Coupling that with a 50 per cent increase in the number of employees over the past three years has driven Welland Power to its enviable position today.

Charlie says the slick operation at Welland Business Park is a good selling point.

“We always used to visit customers,” he said. “Now they want to come and see us, and when they do they often leave having placed an order.”

The firm does much of its shopping locally – most of its engines are supplied by Perkins in Peterborough and alternators by Cummins in Stamford.
However, as far as sales are concerned, 95 per cent of its generators end up abroad in places such as schools and hospitals.

And given the current level of demand, who would bet against Welland Power featuring higher in the export sales league table next year.

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