Lights are on in Lonsdale
Business is booming in the Lonsdale industrial estate.
Lonsdale is the premium industrial estate in southern Adelaide, acting as a gateway to the city to the north and the Fleurieu Peninsula to the south.
The area has attracted a plethora of investors in the past year buying land for new developments and business locations.
Council’s Economic Growth and Investment Officer Glenn Hickling says Lonsdale businesses have proven to be quite resilient during the difficult times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of council’s response to the pandemic-related pressures put on businesses in 2020, a resolution was made in October to focus on supporting local businesses to ensure their ongoing recovery and growth.
“Council is supporting small businesses with their preparations to submit tenders, and encouraging greater procurement participation. This support provides a longer-term solution to economic recovery from the pandemic,” Glenn says.
Council programs include the ON Business Partner Program, the Go South Go Local campaign, and Doing Business with Council education sessions.
Several business icons like REDARC Electronics, RJE Engineering, ResourceCo Recycling, Solar Depot, SMR Automotive, Seeley International and Wing Flexible Packaging have been growing their multi-million dollar revenue from their Lonsdale bases for several years. These businesses and others in the precinct employ significant numbers of people in the region.
“Many local manufacturing products and services are in high demand,” Glenn says. “The former Lonsdale Business Association motto was ‘You can get anything you want in Lonsdale’, and that holds true today.”
Creative Systems—founded in 2010—is an example of one business that has significantly grown. It’s gone from producing office partitions to providing office furniture design, manufacturing and retail solutions for government, commercial enterprises and interior architects and designers. Their range of quality furniture is locally designed, manufactured, assembled, supplied and installed.
“Our range suits clients who care where and how their office furniture is made,” says Managing Director Paul Teasdale. “Being located in Lonsdale is really helpful for our business. Our powder coaters, laser cutters and machinists are all nearby. Our combined effort results in a host of job opportunities for local people.”
Creative Systems won a first-round Digital Innovation grant through the ON Business Partner Program in 2018. Recently completed projects include fit-outs at the Noarlunga TAFE campus and council’s Field Operations Centre at Seaford, and offices at Noarlunga.
“Council has been easy to work with and it’s great to see the support for local manufacturing,” Paul says, crediting the projects with keeping the business steady during the pandemic after experiencing growth of 167 per cent in 2018-19 and another 230 per cent in 2019-20.
Creative Systems seeks to grow to $4 million in revenue within the next five years and provide up to 10 new jobs.
Another business, PVDynamics, was incorporated in 2019 and set up in Lonsdale where it has designed and now manufactures its Series 100 solar roofing system. The company was awarded a federal government Accelerating Commercialisation grant to assist in the development and commercialisation of the system.
Suitable for a wide range of both framed and frameless solar panels, the system is waterproof with a unique clamping system operated from below the panels. It includes an incorporated cable management system which is easy to use and discreet when complete.
Following a tender process, the City of Onkaparinga awarded PVDynamics the project to design and install a solar canopy for the carpark at council’s Wakefield House Positive Ageing Centre in Morphett Vale. Producing 21kW of renewable solar power, ease of both installation and panel maintenance were important considerations for this project.
The system is suitable for domestic and commercial solar canopies and serves to generate renewable power close to where it is needed. PVDynamics hopes to capitalise on various incentives for renewable energy and a public demand for corporate responsibility for action on climate governance.
Co-Director Andrew Ferris says the Series 100 system demonstrates that solar can be installed “in a beautiful yet functional way”. The PVDynamics installation at Wakefield House has been awarded a High Commendation for Excellence in Sustainability at the state’s recent Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia awards.
“Lonsdale is a great location for our company with important transport links to the city and a range of complementary businesses in the neighbourhood. We have steel fabricators, powder coaters and machine shops in proximity. It’s a great combination for us,” Andrew says.
Glenn Hickling says there are few vacant sites remaining in the Lonsdale estate.
“I encourage people to visit Lonsdale and see how positive and thriving the industrial centre is now,” Glenn says.
Read more about council’s partnership with PVDynamics at onkaparinganow.com/autumn-2020/made-in-the-shade/
Business directors Paul Teasdale of Creative Systems (centre) and Andrew Ferris of PVDynamics say their companies are thriving after setting up in Lonsdale.