The huge growth in fish farming in recent years is proving good news for a small precision engineering company based near Spalding.
A one-off job a decade and a half ago has turned into a major stream of business for Channing Engineering, which employs eight people at its workshop in the village of Pinchbeck.
Run by Colin Channing, the company makes parts that are in high demand for fish farming businesses in Norway, the Faroe Islands and in Canada. As a result, more than half of its work is now exported and, unlike many currently, the firm has no worries about the implications of Brexit with all of its main sales destinations outside the EU.
With business continuing to grow, Mr Channing and his team have decided to replace one of their Bridgeport machining centres, working with the Engineering Technology Group (ETG) to purchase a new Hardinge GX710S.
Colin said: “We are very busy at the moment, with most of our work involving short runs of a few dozen parts at a time, or one-off prototyping.
“Whilst we cover a wide range of different industries, including components for racing cars, fish farming equipment is still the biggest single source of work for us. The first piece of work we got, probably 15 years ago, was for Norway and we found we were quoting £100 a piece less than the other firms they were talking to.
“We now make our own version of some components and, as an industry, it now accounts for around 60 per cent of our workload, supplying customers in Norway, the Faroe Islands and Canada. It has just snowballed.
“And there’s no sign of a slowdown. Fish farming has been the fastest growing sector of the food industry for the last two decades and global farmed fish production is expected to expand by a third by 2026.”