Fontwell business plans to expand

A Fontwell based business is hoping its planning application to expand '˜will get the green light'.

Monday, 17th October 2016, 3:34 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:38 am
John Biddlecombe (Director of Global Technologies Racing) during the Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt's to visit Global Technologies Racing in Fontwell. Pic Steve Robards SUS-151202-162745001

John Biddlecombe, director of Global Technologies Racing (GTR), admitted the project ‘is huge for us’ and key if the business is going to keep up.

He said: “We have been at capacity where we are for at least 18 months if not two years.

“It is very hard, when you are building a business, to have to turn down work but we just haven’t got the staff for larger contracts. There is only so many times you can decline to quote for work before they get tired and go elsewhere.”

The planning application (AL/58/16/PL) is to extend an existing building to create a light industrial unit measuring 400sqm for storage and sees additional parking outlined.

Mr Biddlecombe said: “It is huge for us.

“Our competitors, despite there not being many of them, have been expanding and we - despite having been a market leader for a long time - are being hurt.”

He added: “The composite industry is expanding and very fast growing, it is becoming more and more difficult to get skilled staff. What this [the extension] would do is enable us to take on youngsters, say between the age of 17 to 22, and train them, put them through a course.

“We have taken on 15 new trainees in the past two months and we would be looking to take on, over the next couple of years, at least 20.

“It could create 75 to 100 jobs and local, that is what we would be looking at first. Plus nobody would be travelling further to work as it would be a two or three minute walk between sites.”

Mr Biddlecombe also explained the future plan is to divide the business, between its airspace and automotive work, something the new building would ‘make easier’.

Work by GTR is diverse and has included creating pods for the MOD and working with Ben Ainslie racing.

“It [the industry] is expanding into all areas and we have to be able to keep up and give people opportunities,” said Mr Biddlecombe. “Hopefully we will get the green light.”

Deadline for comments on the planning application is November 3.