A LOCAL engineering firm is successfully diversifying its range of services to include supplying the ‘domestic’ market with everything and anything metal.
For more than 25 years Lerwick Engineering and Fabrication, better known as LEF, has cut, welded and blasted a name for themselves in the oil and gas sector.
General Manager Jake Watt said the company had always done work outside the energy market. As such public sector organisations such as NHS Shetland, the local authority as well as a number of trusts are all part of the company’s customer base.
More recently, however, some of the company’s 28 employees have also started ‘making things’ for domestic customers, and have had some encouraging responses.
With no real prospect of the islands’ gyms reopening anytime soon due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, Watt has had inquiries as to whether the company could fabricate fitness equipment for the home market.
As dumbbells and other weight lifting equipment are by their very nature heavy and thus expensive to get sent to the isles, a new market has opened up for the metal workers at the Greenhead Base.
Watt said: “We have a thriving workforce with a positive, can-do attitude. If it can be made, we’ll make it. If it can be fixed, we’ll fix it.”
They certainly put a smile of Andrew Simpson’s face who earlier this month took delivery of four 10 kilos of four 5 kilo dumbbell plates.
“Anybody looking for similar, please don’t bother wasting your time on the Internet, give these folks at LEF a ring and get sorted out,” a delighted Simpson said.
And with this LEF is very much in tune with the times, as rediscovering the benefits of buying locally seem to be one of the positive consequences coming from the Covid pandemic.
Watt said: “Because we have been for so long somewhat removed at Greenhead Base people not involved in our main sector may not know we are here and willing to help.”
LEF can fabricate anything that is either hard to locate or too expensive to get shipped such as parts for tractors that are not made anymore, cattlegrids, fire pits and boat trailers.
The company has also been working hard adding electricians to their service.
“I really want to provide the full service for our customers, from project management through fabrication, coating, delivery and installation,” Watt added.
“My goal is to tell the story that LEF is here and willing to solve people’s problems be that a set of weights, structural beams for an extension, modifications to their boat or larger projects. We’re ready when you need us.”