European Regional Development Fund

Company helped by Locate East Sussex smashes £1m turnover target

Thursday 27th July 2017

An engineering company that was set up by a husband and wife team from their home is celebrating a record turnover over of more than £1 million.

Paneltech Systems Ltd team outside their new office in Battle.

Paneltech Systems Ltd, which specialises in welding, fabrication, control systems and automation, was launched by John and Deborah Lee in Westfield in 1999.

They soon moved their business into Vinehall Business Centre in Mountfield but by 2014, with 12 staff and a need to expand their premises and workforce to fulfil bigger contracts, they sought the help of business support service Locate East Sussex.

The Locate East Sussex team assisted them in securing funding from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF), supported by East Sussex County Council. Paneltech received a £17,000 grant which enabled the company to move to a larger site in Marley Lane, Battle, and create five new jobs.

“Without the help of Locate East Sussex, we wouldn’t have been able to move and cope with the growing demands on our business,” said Deborah Lee, Finance Director.

Just two years later, with the business thriving, Paneltech had outgrown these premises and again turned to Locate East Sussex. A further £10,000 RGF grant enabled Paneltech to take on additional space for its growing building control systems department in Hastings and redesign the company’s base in Battle.

More jobs were created and Paneltech now employs 32 staff including Deborah and John’s four sons, with further plans for expansion by installing a mezzanine floor at the Hastings site.

“We are celebrating a monumental year with a turnover of over £1.3million which is the first time we have ever broken the £1million mark,” said Deborah.

“The service from Locate East Sussex has really benefitted our business by helping it to grow at crucial times, as well as allowing us to provide more jobs.”

Adam Berger, Location Service Manager at Locate East Sussex, said: “I am delighted we were able to help Paneltech with its expansion needs on two occasions. This business is a real success story not only for the Lee family but also in terms of job creation and its contribution to the county’s growing economy.”