Jobs saved as part of Chichester company sold

Jobs have been saved after part of a Chichester company was sold

SJ engineering site in Terminus Industrial Estate, Leigh Road
SJ engineering site in Terminus Industrial Estate, Leigh Road

Based in Terminus Industrial Estate, SJ Engineering, also known locally as Smith & Jewell, were specialists in high quality metal machining and welding, producing specialist parts used on commercial passenger aircrafts and Challenger Tanks.

Portland, the administrators, confirmed that a total of nine jobs were saved in the process.

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The part of the business that was sold made parts for the supply chain for an international aircraft manufacturer. Portland said without steps to secure ongoing manufacturing, 'the whole of the aircraft production line' may have been shut down with losses further up the supply chain running into 'millions of pounds'.

The work within the administration has seen Portland continue to trade the business to complete customer orders, collect debts of over £400k, market the business for sale and ultimately conclude the sale of part of the business, which has also minimised job losses, a spokesman has said.

Associate director at Portland Stewart Goldsmith said: "We realised early on that due to its strong blue chip customer base and good reputation, SJ Engineering could still be a viable business and there was potential for it to be sold. We therefore decided to oversee the continued trading of the business during the administration.

Whilst this had its various challenges, this period helped us to attract interest from a number of parties and after considering the offers received, we were able to sell part of the business to a local multinational company. The purchaser has taken over one of the two operating sites, equipment and some of the employees. A great result in the circumstances”

SJ Engineering was originally founded in 1935 as Smith & Jewell and manufactured parts for RAF Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft. During the Second World War it relocated to the South-Coast where it had since manufactured parts for the aviation sector and reconditioned parts for Ministry Of Defence tanks