Grants Help Middlesbrough Firm Cut Bills On Journey to Net Zero

Business & Invest | Published on: 3rd November 2023

A five-figure grant boost has helped a long-established Middlesbrough firm to reduce bills on its journey to Net Zero.

Dormor Machine, at Cargo Fleet, has been engineering parts for vital UK projects for more than 40 years.

Now the company has used a £59,000 grant to install new energy efficient lighting, a raft of solar panels on its factory roof, and the introduction of a new compressor for its operations.

The firm employs 35 people from its base near the A66.

With the help of Tees Valley Combined Authority’s SME Energy Efficiency Scheme (SMEES), which is funded through the European Regional Development Fund, Dormor was told how its lighting, machinery and energy sources could be made more efficient and cost-effective.

Helen Cameron-Clarke, Managing Director of Dormor Machine, explained how the grant investments have helped the firm in their push to Net Zero.

She said: “We had already quite energy efficient lighting in our newer build. We’ve doubled the size of our workshop in the last 10 years so that side was very efficient.

“In recent years, we’ve expanded our office space and welfare facilities to accommodate more people and create energy efficient spaces. Replacing the older factory lights has further supported our journey to reduce our energy consumption.

“As a manufacturing firm, it was a scary place to be when we needed to review our energy contracts. There was a huge hike (in energy prices) – with around five times the previous cost offered.

“It’s a dual thing – it was something which was set to massively effect our ability to be competitive, and also our customers are auditing us on our Net Zero credentials. The measures we have put in place have reduced our energy consumption and provided energy independent of the national grid.

“Reducing our carbon footprint is something we’re passionate about – it’s a journey we want to continue on. We want to contribute to sustainability and something we want to measure ourselves on.”

Established in 1979, Dormor Machine and Engineering specialises in large scale precision engineering projects – working on schemes such as nuclear power projects and roller assemblies for cable laying ships to support the installation of wind turbines.

The SME efficiency scheme (SMEES) offered a fully-funded energy efficiency audits and expert advice as well as a capital grant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower energy consumption.

Dormor was helped by North East Net Zero consultants, Decerna, in seeing where the firm could improve.

Mrs Cameron-Clarke said: “Decerna were great in initially doing the survey and the report they put together was really comprehensive. It provided us with the base to go out for quotations and say: ‘This is what we need’.

“A solar PV system can be a bit of a minefield, especially on this scale, so it was a great help.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We are leading the charge in the UK’s push to Net Zero through a raft of game changing projects like Sustainable Aviation Fuel, Offshore Wind, and Carbon Capture and Storage.

“But small and medium-sized businesses like Dormor are the lifeblood of Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool – and ensuring they all come with us on this journey is crucial if we want to safeguard existing jobs and see our region have a prosperous future with green jobs for local people.”

The SMEES grant has now closed but plenty of business growth support and advice is available at: Growth Support – Business (

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