PES Wind love the fact that Amanda Gardiner, Managing Director at Durham Lifting, grew up around engineering. She is rightly proud of the company’s place in keeping Teesside’s heritage alive. Embracing change and innovative technology, loving a challenge and doing things right, this team is here to stay.
PES: Welcome to PES Wind Amanda. It’s great to have you with us, particularly as Durham Lifting is marking its 25th anniversary. Can you take us back to the beginning with a brief history of the company and how it all began?
Amanda Gardiner: My father had an engineering and fabrication company in Teesside and traded in oil and gas. The sector interested me, we put together a company based in Co Durham, to provide local companies with lifting equipment.
PES: Twenty-five years is a long time in business and things will have looked very different in 1996 to what they are today. Amanda you personally have over 30 years’ experience in the lifting industry, so you will have seen these changes first hand?
AG: The business in 1996 was stable and supported by loyal customers, who valued our expertise, qualifications and advice, clients take a hard line approach to pricing and cost savings.
We have moved into a digital era, nothing like 1996, the introduction of mobile phones, online shopping opens a whole new world for selling overseas and that certainly promotes international and nationwide trade.
PES: How did the move into the offshore wind sector come about for Durham Lifting and how has your extensive experience in rigging design helped with this?
AG: Being a manufacturer of beam and crane systems for many years, the move into offshore wind was natural, clients were requesting similar items, but the size and scope changed significantly. The team loved the challenge to learn about new products and extend their product knowledge into a new and exciting sector.
PES: Against this changing landscape, some challenges remain ever-present of course, what are some of the most common obstacles you come across?