CAD Works

One of Carlisle’s oldest businesses has a bright future thanks to a grant obtained through Cumbria Business Growth Hub.

The prospects for Mitchell Dryers appeared bleak when administrators were called in and made 27 of the 32-strong workforce redundant.

The grant is crucial to the whole project. The funds will be used on the first stage to build workshops, followed by second stage offices to accommodate the increase in staffing levels

The firm in Denton Holme, trading since 1859, made industrial dryers.

The administrators blamed a historic pension deficit for its difficulties, compounded by a lack of orders, but they believed in the business and began the search for a buyer.

Up stepped CAD Works, based at Kingmoor Park, Carlisle, which bought the intellectual property rights and some assets, including its test centre and test centre equipment.

It is building new premises to accommodate the enlarged business, made possible by a Cumbria Growth Fund grant to support the £1.2m project.

Company Secretary John Frankland said: “The grant is crucial to the whole project. The funds will be used on the first stage to build workshops, followed by second stage offices to accommodate the increase in staffing levels.

“We’ve also changed the [business] model from one where the business made every nut and bolt to more of an assembly shop.”

CAD Works, with 15 full-time staff, has taken on 10 former Mitchell Dryers’ employees and plans to recruit another 11.

The business was established in 1993, initially as a traditional engineering drawing office – clients include McVitie’s and Nestlé.

Over the years industrial pipework and general fabrication divisions have been added, the latter offering a bespoke design and build service.