• Exciting new era and more jobs for the island manufacturing firm

    Exciting new era and more jobs for the island manufacturing firm

Exciting new era and more jobs for the island manufacturing firm

Date: 09-05-2015
Exciting new era and more jobs for the island manufacturing firm

Awarded silver standard in the investors in people scheme.

Exciting times are ahead at Ronaldsway Aircraft Company with at least 10 more jobs being taken on and a new managing director at the helm.

“This company means business, “said new boss Nigel Brown.

He is keen to promote a new era for the proud island company which has a great history of providing parts for the aircraft industry.

Hot off the press is also the news that company has just scooped a silver award in the investors in people scheme.

Mr Brown said “it’s a significant achievement which puts Ronaldsway in the top 12 per cent of accredited companies in the British Isles.

Business news caught up with Mr Brown in his office at the long-established Ballasalla business which is a leading player in the Isle of Man Aerospace Cluster.

He’s a firm believer in straight talking and does not believing in wearing a suit when it comes to day to day interaction on the shop floor.

“I’ve been here six weeks and what the board are looking for me to do is actually take control of the business in a much wider way as a managing director and to go and grow the business.

So it really is the case of coming in and taking control of the company; now go and find some new customers.

I’ve got the approval to go and recruit a sales team as we will be expanding the commercial side of our business, and actually change it from being, if you like a manufacturing division, which essentially is how it has been, into being a fully-fledged divisional company in its own right.

The company has taken out a half page advert in this newspaper.

The company is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. It is part of the RLC Engineering Group (RLC) which provides components and services to the aerospace industry. The group was founded in 1955 and headquartered in the Isle of Man.

The island factory was the first followed by sites in Northern Ireland and the North of England.

Mr Brown said: “this site has the potential for significant growth and for investment. The board are happy for me to invest in new equipment.

Asked why there is this optimism and positive feeling he said “if you look at the aerospace business in general , there are significant opportunities within the aerospace supply chain, and also one of the things I will be looking at is to diversify into other market areas. Looking probably to defence. We have a full range of processes here and we really do a “start to finish” job here.

That puts in quite a unique position here compared to a lot of other companies.

The company is understood to be in the top three of the islands growing aerospace cluster.

The company makes parts for aero engines and ejector seats. At present some 212 people work there and Mr Brown is full of praise for the workforce. The company is also actively supporting engineering apprenticeships and the training scheme at Hills Meadow.

Mr Brown still has a home in Poole, Dorset but he is looking forward to the challenges ahead.

He has a technical degree and has worked for major aerospace and defence companies.

His office door is open. “One of the first things I did when I got here was to walk round talking to everyone. And when I have the time I go round the floor and talk to people.”

And he revealed the before he was appointed he came on a visit. “I was shown around the factory and looked round. I liked what I saw in terms of equipment and processes here, but equally I stood and watched some of the guys at work and I thought we had some really skilled people here.

“So for me I have the challenge of going and finding customers but I also have the building blocks that I need. “

Why did he take the job after a career that has seen him working at home and abroad?

“Because it is a great opportunity. I have a vision of what I want to do for this business.”

Mr Brown said he fully intends to recruit people who live on the island, if at all possible. He said he is committed to help the economy of the Isle of Man.

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