BUSINESS AND FARM DIVERSIFICATION

SOUTH & EAST CORNWALL

£35,342.64 FUNDED

Sam Henwood Engineering Agricultural Workshop

Sam Henwood Engineering

To build a new workshop with electrical installation and roller shutters to enable expansion in the business.

An intrinsic part of Cornish heritage

Sam Henwood’s Cornish roots go back generations, and now he’s keeping traditional steam engines rolling so that future generations can marvel at the magnificent traction engines that are an intrinsic part of Cornish heritage.

After completing an engineering apprenticeship at St Austell college, where he worked four days a week with a small business in Bodmin, Sam set up his own business as his employer was not able to provide a full-time role once he had qualified. He said: “There are around 150 steam engines in Cornwall alone, so it was the right place to start my own business.”

Sam has a whole raft of skills to offer, learned from the older generation of craftsmen he has worked with, including boilersmithing, welding and fabricating, machining, fitting and even coachbuilding.

LEADER aids increase in production and workforce

Sam said: “To start with I went to people with my little van and bag of tools; after that I got the opportunity to use my grandparents’ buildings on their farm, but we outgrew that, so we needed a new workshop.”

This is where the Local Action Group came in, assisting Sam to apply for a LEADER grant which enabled him to build a huge new workshop.

Sam said: “Before, we had to work outside in the wind and rain. We only had one area under cover so had to keep moving the boilers to work on them, and the machines were outside under tarpaulins and we couldn’t use them if the weather was bad.”

The new workshop has radically changed the business, as they can now work on multiple machines in a clean, dry environment, and the machinery will last longer as it is not exposed to the elements.

There are other companies that do the mechanics or the paintwork, but Henwood Engineering can carry out the whole job from start to finish.

Sam said: “We are so much more efficient as we don’t have to move engines around. We can take in more machines and offer a complete restoration service, from making parts and repairing engines to finishing them with a shiny new paint job.”

Thanks to the new workshop, Sam has increased his workforce and is now training the next generation to ensure vital skills are not lost; the LEADER grant is helping to maintain traditional skills and keep them in Cornwall.

It is vital that they are able to make parts from scratch, as it’s not possible to obtain items from an auto-parts company for a traction engine.

Sam’s customer base covers the whole country and beyond, with engines shipped to him from such diverse locations as New Zealand and Aberdeen.

Sam has a Facebook page for enthusiasts to follow what they do – search for Henwood Engineering.

Key documents

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