Grant boost for roll cage firm

A Coventry entrepreneur has founded a company making safety roll cage kits for rally cars with the help of a £40,000 grant from RDA Advantage West Midlands (AWM).

Just six months after launching BMS Engineering, one of the kits developed by founder Phil Boffin was installed in the Subaru Impreza WRC driven by Norwegian Petter Solberg, generally acknowledged as one of the world’s best rally drivers.

The SFIE (Selective Finance for Investment in England) grant has contributed to the purchase of a £93,000 Addison McKee CNC tube bending machine.

Boffin said: ‘The company was founded to support the high standards and critical demands of the motor sport industry with the supply of high quality tubular metal components. Without the support of AWM the venture would not have progressed beyond the embryonic stage.’

Steve Hines, grants case officer at Advantage West Midlands, said: ‘This project could well see the development of a new high precision company in motor sport, an area which AWM envisages as a growing cluster worthy of support and encouragement.

‘One of the agency’s key priorities is to make sure such companies have access to appropriate finance for growth and SFIE funding can often be the last piece in the financial jigsaw to trigger capital expenditure that leads to long-term improvements in productivity, skills and employment.’

Phil, who says the company expects to turnover £150,000 in its first year of trading, has also recently won orders from touring car firms for tube bending work, including for the 2008 Honda Civic. A complete roll cage kit costs between £500 and £2,000 depending on complexity and material specification

Other race and rally cars BMS has made kits for include the Aston Martin V8 Vantage N24, MGBs and Ford Focus WRC.