Spencer Group (Spencer) has acquired a majority share in rail industry signalling experts, Chase Meadow, to form Chase Meadow Signalling (CMS).
CMS, headquartered in Stratford Upon Avon, provides highly specialised signalling solutions and joins Spencer Group’s rail business following the busiest periods in both companies’ histories.
Spencer Rail, which delivers more than £100m worth of rail related multi-disciplinary work each year, worked on a number of major projects right across the UK in 2013-14, including the highly successful Ipswich Chord and Gravesend Station remodelling.
Set up in 2004 by chief executive Craig Purcell, Chase Meadow has grown to deliver all aspects of signalling design and has industry leading experience in level crossings.
The partnership aims to continue collective growth by formally integrating the skill base of both organisations, by offering a Design, Installation and Testing & Commissioning service. Specialist training will also add a new dimension to the bespoke service offering.
Chase Meadow Signalling plans to create a unique 10,000sq ft. training centre for in-house apprenticeships and development for signalling designers, installers, testers and commissioning specialists.
Charlie Spencer, chairman of Spencer, said: “This is a great opportunity for both Chase Meadow Signalling and Spencer.
“Craig has done a brilliant job to grow the business from scratch and he is now looking to take the next step, working with us to offer something quite unique in today’s rail industry. Our aim is to be the supplier of choice for rail industry infrastructure services and this arrangement will certainly create greater capacity to help us achieve that objective.
“Training new engineers and the chance to give those who have lost work in other sectors the opportunity to ply their trade in the rail industry, is something that really appeals to me. The Midlands is an area rich in engineering, manufacturing and electronic experience and expertise.”
“Signalling specialists are essential to any rail provider to ensure services run safely and smoothly. CMS will now also be able to offer tailored training to ensure this profession remains strong for many years to come.”
Since the privatisation of British Rail in the 1990s, specialised signalling engineers have dwindled in number with services being provided by a small number of private companies.
Mr Purcell said: “Railway signalling is a very complex component of the rail industry and one that requires highly-skilled engineers to carry out the work. It is vitally important that we continue to train and retrain engineers to work on the UK’s rail network in the future.
“I was delighted to have the opportunity to forge a new partnership with Spencer and create a dynamic structure that will develop my business and achieve shared goals and opportunities in the industry.
“The partnership will allow us to increase the scope of our business while maintaining the same high standards of service that we have delivered on since 2004.”
The new entity comes into full effect on 01 April 2014.
For more information about Spencer Group’s services, please visit: www.thespencergroup.co.uk and www.chasemeadow.com