Sotech is family owned and a leading manufacturer of rainscreen cladding and architectural fabrications in the UK. Set up in 1982, the company has invested heavily in extensive independent testing of its products, certifications and accreditations. In 2007 Sotech invested in a new factory at Whitehouse Business Park plus CNC equipment, just before the onset of recession. Like all businesses in the construction sector, Sotech’s sales suffered. Despite this the company continued to look to the future and, using the local business support infrastructure, invested in a showroom displaying its designs and finishes to architects as a sign of its confidence in the future. The initiative bore fruit and continues to do so with visiting architects gaining knowledge and ideas that have translated into sales. High profile work carried out by Sotech includes the Manchester Cancer Research Building, BskyB Building, the Olympic Aquatic Centre in London and the Core at Newcastle University’s Science Central along with many other buildings throughout the country.
Sotech is an employer rooted in the community with a member of the management team being a Governor of Apollo Studio Academy, a school dedicated to blending academic study with the practical world of work. Sotech also has a presence on the steering group of Peterlee Business Park Steering Group, run by Business Durham. Sotech regards Business Durham as a key route to local and government information and support in a wide range of topics from sourcing funding, apprenticeship support and advice, local factors such as lobbying for increased broadband speeds to directing the business to funding and finance opportunities and local business community engagement.
Richard Egginton, Business Systems Manager, commented on the relationship with Business Durham:
"The disbanding of Business Link and One North East left an advisory void which Business Durham has filled. We value the information and links provided on a range of national and local issues and BD is the first port of call when we want to talk to the business support world. A good example of how we work together is on recruitment. Joanne Urquhart was extremely helpful with her ideas and contacts when we set up our apprenticeship programme and she recently told us about the administration of Actem and that BD was looking to help affected employees. We jumped at the opportunity and have taken on two press brake operators and are considering staff with other skill sets."