Cardigan boat company to expand and create new jobs

A small boat building company in Cardigan which has gained an international reputation for its innovative yacht designs is expanding its operations with Welsh Government support, aiming to create ten new jobs.

Swallow Boats is investing nearly £200,000, which is backed by £94,760 from the Welsh Government’s Economic Growth Fund, to build a new workshop adjacent to its current facility and purchase moulds for a new 25ft yacht they plan to launch.

MD Matt Newland, the son of the business founder, said the new facilities will enable more of the production processes to be undertaken on site, achieving higher quality, shorter lead times and better customer service.

Mr Newland said Welsh Government support was vital to enable the project to go ahead.

“If this investment hadn’t gone ahead we would have had to look for manufacturing partners overseas and our operation in Wales would have become a design and a sales and marketing business, with significantly less employees and no scope to grow and create jobs in Wales.

“The expansion will provide opportunities for local people to be trained as boat builders and we are also keen to employ graduates in design and engineering positions to ensure the company’s remains highly innovative.”

Economy Minister Edwina Hart said the Economic Growth Fund was set up to help support the growth of small and medium sized enterprises throughout Wales.

She added: "I am pleased to support this expansion by Swallow Boats which will not only safeguard and create highly skilled jobs in rural Wales but ensure these specialised skills in boat building are maintained in Wales. I am delighted the project is now well under way and wish the company every success.”

The company has increased its employment levels throughout the economic downturn and seen turnover and profit margins increase as a result of new products being introduced.

It has a growing list of international dealers and their boats and kits for home completion are exported all over the world. It has developed a reputation for innovative yet classic design and construction while its water ballasted yachts have won critical acclaim globally.

The Swallow Boats range includes 6 different models from 17 to 25 feet and the company aims to launch a significant new product every 18 months.

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