A FUNDING boost of more than £1million has helped a Milford Haven firm create 13 new jobs, and safeguard 37 more.

Consort Equipment Products, which makes high-end energy efficient heaters, is investing around £1million in the latest technology to help speed up production and grow the business.

The firm, which lies within the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone, has also been backed by £385,000 from the Wales Economic Growth Fund.

Managing director Ed Spankie, who has been with the firm for more than 20 years, said: This investment is hugely important for us and support from the Welsh Government was absolutely essential."

Thanks to the investment, Consort has just taken delivery of the first of three new machines - a sophisticated panel bender which enables workers to fold larger metal sheeting at a much faster rate, helping the firm tackle larger and more complex work.

“The equipment is the latest on the market and will give us a competitive edge, help reduce costs and increase efficiency - as well as creating and safeguarding jobs,” said Mr Spankie.

Started in 1966, the Milford Haven firm now employs 85 people, and its extensive range of heaters are sold throughout the UK and, more recently, in China, where it has sold more than 3,000 units in the last 18 months.

In addition to designing and manufacturing heaters, Consort’s light sheet metal fabrication and manufacturing business supplies a number of leading businesses in south Wales.

During a visit to the Enterprise Zone last week, Economy Minister Edwina Hart said praised Consort’s increased sales, which she said “illustrate the importance of investing in research and development and bringing new innovative products to the market”.

She added: “I am pleased the Welsh Government is helping the business continue to grow and supporting its investment in new technology which will help create and safeguard jobs in the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone.”