Up to 30 jobs created at Lancashire gunmakers’ new factory

BACKERS: Elaine and Jim Stewart of Longthorne with Ian Comber and Andrew Christmas of RBS who have helped fund the business
BACKERS: Elaine and Jim Stewart of Longthorne with Ian Comber and Andrew Christmas of RBS who have helped fund the business
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A Lancashire gunmakers is planning to take on extra staff as it opens a new base.

Hesketh Bank-based Longthorne Gunmakers Ltd has completed the purchase of the former Falcon Press building in Northampton.

The people we are looking for are highly skilled engineers and it isn’t easy finding them in this area – so much manufacturing has been lost in the north west.

Jim Stewart

Directors say the property allows better potential for growth and with 4,000 sq ft of office space and 10,000 sq ft of workshop space is better suited to the firm’s manufacturing operations.

The company plans to maintain a small base in the village of Hesketh Bank, near Preston, the original home of Longthorne.

Longthorne is a family company directed by Jim and Elaine Stewart whose daughter Chloe is also involved in the business as creative director.

The factory move will take place in a few months time to allow time to perform some internal renovations.

Jim said today: “It was the right space available at the right price.

“Also, the skills base is there and we are doing a lot of travelling up and down the country.

“The people we are looking for are highly skilled engineers and it isn’t easy finding them in this area – so much manufacturing has been lost in the north west.”

Longthorne employs eight people at the moment and Jim said up to 30 extra staff would be needed.

The family commenced their shotgun manufacturing operation in 2010 as a subsidiary to their engineering business after having spent several years developing their now renowned barrel technology.

Longthorne barrels are manufactured from one single piece of high specification steel as opposed to being made conventionally from two tubes soldered together.

The innovation has the potential to revolutionise the shotgun-making industry, and the company has international patents pending.

Longthorne has several prestigious clients, a growing export order book and a healthy UK order book for its bespoke English shotguns which are made entirely in house.

The Northampton purchase was made possible by the efforts of Royal Bank of Scotland and Pearsons Solicitors who worked tirelessly to ensure the deal was completed without too many hitches.