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When Phil Connolly finished his high school education in the late 60’s, he trained and qualified to be a successful engineer. However, his interest and enthusiasm for scuba diving became his new career focus. So in 1974 he joined Preston Dockyard diving services as a trainee diver and then went on for professional diver training at the Underwater Training Centre at Fort William and from there he ventured out in the North Sea. Commencing there he went from ranks of a tender to Air Diver, Saturation Diver, Atmospheric Diving Suit Operator and finally on to a Construction Superintendent.
In 1985 Phil decided to return to his engineering back ground and set up a company repairing and refurbishing commercial diving equipment (Marine Surplus Supplies Ltd). The company started from a shipwrights carpenter shop in the port of Fleetwood and in the early years purchased the redundant and unused assets of companies such as Under Marine.
This company quickly expanded until 1991, when the company was being asked to build new equipment and the demand for the rental equipment became even greater. Later it was decided to merge all our trading activities such as repairs and refurbishment, the manufacturing of equipment and rental into one company – “Submarine Manufacturing and Products Ltd”. Due to expansion the company moved to a modern industrial complex at Lytham where the company expanded quickly from one industrial unit to two industrial units and rented additional facilities for the storage of larger pieces of equipment. During this time the company purchased the whole assets of companies in liquidation to build up their increasing stock levels of used commercial diving equipment and rare diving equipment spares. During this period, due to large stock of commercial Diving Equipment and spares being purchased by customers, a specialist database was set up to track and trace all types of components relating to our industry all over the world. This database is still used today to assist our sales team with customer enquiries for any old and redundant spares requirements.
By this time the company had out grown the facilities available at Lytham and relocated to a new site at its current location in Wesham. This site offered greater expansion capability including a larger area for storage of equipment to increase their stock holding.
SMP opened another large storage site approximately 1 mile from their head office This site allowed the company to purchase, store and hold large pieces of equipment such as Complete Saturation Systems, Bell Handling Systems, Containerized Diving Systems and many more items. This site location is one of the proposed sites for SMP to build a purpose built factory unit to meet with all their future expansion plans, which the Managing Director is considering. With more customer enquiries SMP continued its growth, with many new products to appearing in our product range such as new designs in Surface Deck Decompression Chambers.
SMP Ltd has now reached a whole new level. With more orders and tenders awarded to us we outgrew our premises at Wesham and relocated to a larger site at Newton, near Preston. On 7 acres of land, these new premises provide SMP with more engineering/ workshop space, clean room facility, expansion of stores both internally and externally and also an increase in dedicated office accommodation, accounts, reception and sales areas.
Continued investment into our current site has meant we can diversify into the military and medical markets for products such as Submarine Rescue Systems and Bespoke HBOT chambers.
A Blasting and Paint Facility at our Newton premises has meant we can now undertake these operations in house, making it more cost effective for our customers.
The company now holds ISO Certification for Quality, Environmental and Medical Devices.