Cornwall business engineers record growth

An engineering firm that participates in Cornwall’s Coaching for High Growth programme has seen a significant increase in profit and record turnover in the last year.

Progress Engineering managing director Dave Cottam is pictured in his Bodmin premises with Oxford Innovation business coach Gill Hall.

Bodmin-based Progress Engineering specialises in precision machining, fabrication and finishing on products ranging from single components the size of a pound coin to multi-tonne fabricated structures.

The company, which employs 20 people, was formed by managing director and major shareholder Dave Cottam in 2009.

Dave turned to the Coaching for High Growth programme, which is delivered by Truro-based Oxford Innovation, for support in marketing Progress Engineering and to provide a holistic review of the strategic direction of the business.

“Our focus has always been on working in partnership with our customers to provide the exact engineering solutions to their needs,” explained Dave.  “However I joined the Coaching for High Growth programme because I felt that after five very successful years, the time had come to start working on the business as well as in it.”

Progress Engineering’s customers span a range of sectors including ship building, offshore drilling, food and pharmaceutical industries.  Several existing and potential customers are located overseas so effective marketing communications are essential to the business.

Oxford Innovation’s Gill Hall, a chartered marketer with more than 20 years of senior experience, is Progress Engineering’s business coach.  Gill commented: “Dave has a highly skilled team around him and together they have created a business which is very well regarded by existing customers.  My task was to work with the team to enable them to reach out to new market opportunities while maintaining the standards they have already set for delivering engineered products and services of the highest quality.  Progress Engineering is a great example of a high growth Cornish business and I’m sure it is well set for future growth and job creation.”

Having seen his profit and turnover reach record levels, Dave said he would recommend the Coaching for High Growth programme to other Cornish businesses, adding:  “What impressed me most was the way in which Gill and her colleagues at Oxford Innovation spent time really getting to know the nature of our business.  They understood that while we needed to broaden our horizons we couldn’t compromise on the standard of service we deliver to existing customers.  I’ve been greatly impressed by the programme and I look forward to remaining involved with it.”

Oxford Innovation provides bespoke support to businesses through the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) funded Coaching for High Growth programme.  Since its launch in 2009, the programme has seen the creation of more than 500 jobs in start-ups and more than 1,500 in established businesses.

Businesses wishing to find out more about Oxford Innovation and Coaching for High Growth should visit or email [email protected]


Issued on behalf of Oxford Innovation by Round Table Solutions Ltd.  For further information, please contact John McCabe on 01670 730 601 or 07527 150 824.

Photo caption:  Progress Engineering managing director Dave Cottam is pictured in his Bodmin premises with Oxford Innovation business coach Gill Hall.

Note to editors

About Coaching For High Growth

Oxford Innovation supports and develops high growth businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The team, based at offices in Greenbottom, Truro, is focused on delivering the Coaching for High Growth programme. This is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Convergence Programme which aims to build a stronger economy in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Coaching for High Growthoffers intensive coaching and assistance for up to 30 days to high growth potential SMEs and individuals looking to start a business. The team of experienced coaches has a range of board level business and sector experience gained from facing similar challenges to those now faced by participants on the coaching programme. The team brings a new perspective to a business and helps with specific issues such as growing businesses through a step change, refining business models, identifying new markets, sourcing new technologies, extending geographical reach and building teams. The coaching team can also support a range of issues from developing a business plan and securing funding to identifying new markets, building a team and developing new products and services. For more information:

About Oxford Innovation

Oxford Innovation provides services to growing companies, and to government bodies that promote enterprise.  It has over 15 years’ experience of delivering business support and mentoring to thousands of companies of all sizes from start-ups and spin-outs to SMEs and large corporations.

Oxford Innovation also manages three highly successful Angel Investment Networks that link investors with entrepreneurs seeking funding from £20,000 to £2 million.  During the last five years, the investment networks have helped over 90 companies raise £19.5m.  For more information:

Oxford Innovation is part of SQW Group. Other divisions include SQW, which provides research and advisory services in sustainable economic development and energy management to the public and private sectors. For more information:

About ERDF Convergence

The Coaching for High Growth programme is financed by the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Convergence European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs.

For more information:

Monday 1 December 2014