AYRSHIRE manufacturer Hyspec Engineering has received £500,000 of funding from UKSE, which supports businesses and communities affected by changes in the steel industry, as it prepares to increase its workforce.

Hyspec, a provider of sub-contract precision engineering in the oil and gas, defence, aerospace and renewables sectors, has recently secured a long-term, multi-million-pound contract with a key customer for new subsea exploration equipment.

UKSE, a subsidiary of Tata Steel established originally in 1975, said the funding would provide Hyspec with “business confidence to continue building its portfolio of clients across the globe, particularly as post-pandemic recovery is continuing to create new opportunities in the oil and gas and defence sectors”.

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It noted Hyspec, based in Stewarton, had this year enjoyed its highest order intake since 2018.

UKSE added: “To ensure demand is met, Hyspec Engineering is expanding its team with an ambitious recruitment drive planned for over the next 18 months that will create 15 to 20 new roles for the Ayrshire region, boosting the existing headcount of 90.”

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Hyspec’s apprenticeship programme, in partnership with Kilmarnock College, welcomed three new recruits in October, bringing the total to five.

Michael Douglas, finance manager at Hyspec, said: “The funding package from UKSE has enabled us to embark on an exciting new chapter of growth.

“Imperative to Hyspec Engineering’s legacy is making a positive impact on the local economy. That’s why we are significantly investing in a recruitment drive and enhancing our apprenticeship programme to ensure we are future-proofing the firm with a skilled workforce.”

Terry Quinn, regional executive at UKSE, said: “Hyspec Engineering is a prime example of a Scottish firm that is a force for good within local communities. It is excellent to see the level of investment it is making into expanding the team as it works with local education centres to provide a competitive apprenticeship programme.”