Ashford Metalwork Business Protects Over 240 Jobs With HSBC UK Support

MJ Allen Group, a family-run metalwork and engineering company based in Ashford, Kent, has protected its 62 year old legacy and secured over 240 jobs following a seven-figure Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBILS) from HSBC UK.

The business’ work dramatically reduced during the Coronavirus lockdown, with its sales across each company immediately affected, in some cases halting up to 75 per cent of MJ Allen’s business overnight. 

The financing from HSBC UK enabled MJ Allen Group to bridge the gap between a fall in demand, securing the future of 240 jobs across the business and ensuring the company could confidently restart new and existing business opportunities. 

The Group’s six companies (MJ Allen Castings and Machining, MJ Allen Metalwork, Rydal Precision Tools, Verdict Gauge, National Autoparts and Countytrac) have over half a century’s expertise in metalwork and engineering, providing products and services including engineering patterns, metal castings, machining and automotive parts.

Tim Allen, Director at MJ Allen Group, commented on the funding: “The engineering and automotive industry was severely hit at the beginning of the lockdown and business dried up overnight. We were required to adapt quickly, from moving staff from our warehouses to effective home working and changing manufacturing processes to ensure safety and efficiency. Without the support from HSBC UK, we wouldn’t have been able to focus on strengthening our position at this time. The funding has given us the confidence to re-enter the market.”

Paul Amos, HSBC UK Relationship Director Kent Corporate Centre, added: “MJ Allen Group is a key business within the Ashford community, providing hundreds of jobs for local people and strengthening the town’s manufacturing presence. The family-run team has a strong track record of success and we’re pleased to help support them as they adapted their business.” 

HSBC UK is working closely with the Government and UK Finance to identify emerging issues and make sure customers and businesses have the advice and support they need. For tips and advice for businesses around planning for any possible disruption, visit

The new measures build upon the package of support that HSBC UK has already announced for business customers:

  • Launched BBLS, CBILS, CLBILS and CCFF
  • Allocated £5bn to help businesses that need support
  • Removed the £100 Small Business Loan fee to relieve the pressure faced by SMEs across the country
  • Removed informal overdraft fees – as of 1st April we no longer apply any Informal Overdraft fees
  • Offering repayment holidays to free up cash within businesses
  • Stopped all unauthorised overdraft charges
  • Reviewing overdrafts or trade loans to allow stock to be held for longer
  • Offering companies involved in the supply and manufacture of ventilators preferential pricing, extended repayment terms on loans and fast track approval times to support the unprecedented demand on UK hospitals.
  • We have also extended that support to customers that can give immediate help to essential public services and vulnerable people. We are contacting clients involved in the manufacture and supply of Personal Protective Equipment to offer preferential finance and, where possible, the direct purchase of supplies and equipment for essential public services.
  • We will also offer similar terms to clients involved in the wholesale of food.
  • Our relationship managers have been proactively contacting customers to see what help their businesses need.
  • We’ve launched a coronavirus helpline to support any customer queries and a dedicated coronavirus hub on our website.
  • For businesses trading internationally:
    • £3bn to importers and exporters that need additional support
    • pre-approved 60-day extensions on trade loans for customers with a sound trade loan/financing record
    • a one-hour turnaround on the issuance of Shipping Guarantees, enabling customers to transfer or receive goods from their counterparty faster
    • a dedicated helpline that connects directly with trade finance specialists (0800 783 1300, open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday), in addition to the support being offered by relationship managers



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