MEL acquires Sudbury site for £800,000 as part of expansion plans

Gary Harvey, Group CEO of The MEL Group based in Sudbury.
Gary Harvey, Group CEO of The MEL Group based in Sudbury.

Strikes bowling alley in Sudbury has closed, having been bought by the neighbouring MEL Group.

The company, which specialises in manufacturing equipment for the military and civilian aerospace industry, has purchased the site from bigapple for £800,000.

MEL is now awaiting permission to change the site’s use to light industry, with plans to connect the building with its current unit in Addison Road with a covered walkway.

The former bowling alley in Byford Road will be used to manufacture civilian aerospace safety equipment, while also offering more car parking for the company’s 130 staff.

Two Strikes employees have been given full-time jobs at MEL, with group chief executive Gary Harvey expecting the expansion to generate between 15 and 20 new jobs.

“The purchase of Strikes is to allow for our expansion, particularly in our civil aerospace business,” he said.

“We will be moving some of that business there as we have simply run out of space at this site.”

It is hoped the new site will be open and working by September, with production focusing on inflatable emergency slides for civilian aircraft and safety winches.

“We have been very successful with a number of bids we have put in, and that takes up space,” added Mr Harvey.

The company began to expand 11 years ago due to what Mr Harvey described as the threat of being reduced to a third-rate company.

At the time, it turned over 11.5 million a year. It is now approaching £50 million a year.

The MEL Group is currently building a new factory for one of its latest acquisition, Oldbury Engineering, near Gatwick.

“We see our expansion continuing,” said Mr Harvey. “It would be nice to get the business to £100 million and for our sons to get it to a billion in their lifetime.

“I think that’s very achievable as we have quadrupled in 11 years.

“We are very loyal to the town and we will never move our headquarters.”

The company is hoping to hold an open day once work is complete to show people what it does.