A SMALL engineering company says it is becoming the go-to business for artists, sculptors and designers.

Accujet, based at Upton, has created art installations and sculptures that are on display across the country.

Well-known artists including Luke Jerram, Tom Hiscocks and Stuart Semple take their concepts to the team at Accujet to be turned into reality.

The company was set up 10 years ago by Ken Battrick, who had no idea that within a decade a third of his growing business would be in art and design.

Mr Battrick said: “I sold my house and bought a Waterjet cutting machine, It was 2009 and the country was in recession.

“I envisaged working as a subcontractor for other engineering firms and that’s how we started.

“Then we got our first art commission from Dorset-based maze maker Adrian Fisher and from then on our reputation grew and we started to take on other commissions – often at very short notice.

“We bought a second waterjet machine and hired another engineer who has experience in graphic design and 3D modelling. Later we invested in our own laser-cutting machine and fabrication department.

“Accujet is now a team of seven and we have taken over three units on the Upton Industrial Estate. The art side of things is something we really want to develop further. In engineering you never really see the end product. But with art I can go and see a piece of work that we have made for an artist and be proud of it.

“Artists choose to work with us because we are able to understand their concepts and designs and show enthusiasm for their work. Projects we have been involved with include the Edinburgh Gates for 1 Hyde Park, a 30 metre long Cor-Ten steel replica of the old walls in Southampton for the Bow Square development and a 7m high mosaic for Oundle School, near Peterborough.

“British installation artist Luke Jerram asked us to work on his pixelated statue Maya, that was on display at Temple Meads railway station and we recently made a wonderful 8ft copper horse’s head for Tom Hiscocks that has been displayed at Newbury and Ascot racecourses.

“Increasingly we are working with very contemporary design agencies – something I could never have believed when I started Accujet.”