AS A trained engineer, the Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane had a keen eye for what was going on at a local firm.

Councillor Martin Biermann paid a visit to LG Motion and MiniTec UK, based at Telford Road on the Houndmills Estate in Basingstoke.

There he learned how the managing director of both companies, Gary Livingstone, is investing £170,000 in new machinery and software.

He also met two graduates taken on and apprentices, emphasising the commitment to youth at the companies, which have 22 staff.

Gary also discussed various green projects that LG Motion and MiniTec UK have been involved with.

Among LG Motion’s clients is the Environment Flow Research Centre, at the University of Surrey.

The company has manufactured positioning systems used in the centre’s meteorological wind tunnel, which is used to simulate a wide range of environmental conditions for projects that examine urban air quality, chemical spill containment and major air pollution studies.

The mayor was also told about MiniTec client, IPSol Energy, based in Nottingham, which is involved in testing commercial solar panels.

The company uses state-of-the-art test and measurement equipment based around MiniTec’s Profile System machine-framing and building components.

Other clients include the likes of Rolls Royce, BAE Systems, and top universities including Oxford, Cambridge, King’s College and Imperial College.

More locally clients include AWE, Thales and street light specialist Urbis Gary said: “We’re not a bunch of academics here – we’re practical engineering folk. I still love getting involved with the technical issues.

“The work we get involved in is very varied and very much project-based. We have a reputation of doing the jobs nobody else is either capable of, or wants to do.”

The entrepreneur admitted that both businesses have been affected by the economic climate. “We haven’t grown as much as we wanted,” he said.

Cllr Biermann described his impressions of LG Motion and MiniTec UK as “very positive.”

He said: “These are young companies, but not ones that are resting on their laurels. Gary is obviously looking to the future and planning well.

“What is particularly impressive about it is that he is not just taking from the community but giving to it too by making such a big contribution to the development of young people.

“For a company of this size to have developed six apprentices and graduates is unbelievable.”