Workington-based testing specialist joins network of more than 300 partners aiming to boost economic growth in the region.

Responsive Ltd, parent company for the Workington-based non-destructive testing specialist, has joined the Northern Powerhouse Partnership as part its commitment to growth.

This comes at a busy time for the business which has just completed a £300k investment in its mechanical testing subsidiary at the Haig Enterprise Park in Whitehaven and the creation of a Manchester office to reinforce its support to customers across the region.

Lee Grears, group managing director, said: “We’ve grown a lot in the past couple of years with an increasing number of customers, a wider range of specialist non-destructive and mechanical testing services and a doubling of workforce from just six people initially to 14 today.

"We’ve also created the training business to meet a real need in the area for accredited specialist training.

“Further growth is likely in 2020 as the new facilities get going and I’ve been looking for ways to increase our profile across the North of England.

"Northern Powerhouse Partnership has business members of all sizes and I was keen to get involved as part of the network of SMEs and to play a part in the campaign to support manufacturing in the region.”

Jake Berry, the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, said he was thrilled Responsive has joined the organisations working together and with the Government to level up communities across the North.

He added: “As a growing business with a commitment to creating new jobs and offering accredited specialist training opportunities to boost the skills of young people, they are a fantastic addition to the Northern Powerhouse Partner Programme as we build on our Local Growth Fund investment of more than £60 million in Cumbria.”

Lee and Lisa Grears, group service director, established Responsive at Lillyhall near Workington in 2016 with a focus on non-destructive testing and a market in the engineering and advanced manufacturing sectors that are a big part of the Cumbrian economy.

Lisa added: “It’s been really interesting to see the business grow and to create an opportunity to be able to train and develop both myself and our teams for the future of Responsive.

“People and businesses in the local communities around our facilities are also seeing the benefits."

Lee said: “We’re investing a lot of time and money here in Cumbria and we’re looking forward to playing a part in the wider region’s growth and success too.”