George Freeman MP shown local value on visit to H Young Structures and Hi-Span
On a visit to H. Young Structures and its sister company Hi-Span in Wymondham, George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk, was shown the work the firm is doing to ensure that the local economy benefits from its headquarters in the region.
H. Young Structures Ltd specialises in the design, fabrication, priming and erection of structural steelwork. Hi-Span specialises in cold rolled, light gauge steel products. The companies work extensively to ensure that jobs and opportunities at the firm’s headquarters, which are located in Mr Freeman’s constituency, are enjoyed by local people.
H.Young Structures carry out multiple projects for regional main contractors and are currently on site at the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital, erecting a 200-tonne frame for a Diagnostics Centre and at Great Yarmouth erecting a 120-tonne frame for a care home. Their sister company Hi-Span are in the process of opening a new £1.2m production facility which will increase capacity for the production of cold rolled sections. These are primarily used as secondary supports for steel framed buildings such as retail and industrial units, stud framing in low rise residential buildings and increasingly as support systems in the solar renewable energy sector.
During the visit, concerns were raised over the lack of procurement of steel for government funded projects from UK steel contractors. Zoe Williams, who heads external relations for the British Constructional Steelwork Association (BCSA), H Young Structures and Hi-Spans’ trade body, informed Mr Freeman that fewer than 60 per cent of the steelwork contracts for the government’s flagship HS2 project, have been awarded to UK companies.
Mr Freeman was enthusiastic to discuss other issues affecting H Young Structures and the steelwork industry more widely. This included challenges associated with succession planning as well as skills and recruitment – the nearest college to the company which offers the relevant level two apprenticeship, is more than 100 miles away.
Zoe Williams, representing the BCSA, said: “I would personally like to thank Mr Freeman for taking the time to visit H Young Structures and Hi-Span, and for discussing some of the important issues facing the constructional steelwork sector.
“We represent more than 100 steelwork fabricators and supply chain firms across the UK and often help facilitate meetings between MPs and members to ensure their issues are heard, and raised by policy makers.”
Barry Tipple, Commercial Director of H.Young Structures, said: “We were pleased to show Mr Freeman and his team our facilities and give him an overview of the projects we design and build from our base in Wymondham. Mr Freeman showed an interest in local procurement and had knowledge of the carbon conversation involving the steelwork sector, where Green Steel (the manufacturing of steel without the use of fossil fuels) is being promoted to lower embodied carbon in new buildings.”
George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk, and Minister for Science, Research and Innovation said: “Part of the world class engineering cluster located on Wymondham’s Ayton Road industrial estate, H Young Structures and Hi-Span are at the forefront of progress in the high quality steelwork and precision engineering sectors. It was a pleasure to visit these two fantastic local companies, which provide highly skilled jobs and opportunities to dozens of local people. They are wonderful examples of Norfolk’s already thriving ‘Innovation Economy’ and I look forward to supporting them as they continue to go from strength to strength in the months and years ahead.”
President's Column October 2023
At the time of writing this column, the UK Government had just announced a £500m contribution to keep open the UK’s largest steelworks plant in Port Talbot, Wales. With additional major investment from the owners Tata Steel, this money will be used to fund the installation of new Electric Arc Furnaces (EAFs) to reduce the level of site emissions by 85%.
President's Column November/December 2023
There is a simple question that relates to established UK steelwork design practice that is becoming increasing difficult to answer … when is a steelwork connection not just a connection?