Our Facilities - Armstrong Works

Vision and Values

To create wealth and employment in the North East.

The Reece Group is the holding company for a number of inspired and growing North East businesses. Our foundations are planted firmly in engineering and we aim to continually invest in, and support, exceptional engineering companies.

We aim to provide products and services across the globe in the defence, oil and gas, subsea and road construction markets.

We are looking to build a network of complementary manufacturing and product companies that support each other and give us the best opportunity to succeed.

Our Values

  • To offer innovative engineered products and services
  • To deliver excellence, consistently
  • To be socially responsible
  • To value our employees who will always be at the heart of everything we do.

Mission Statement

The Reece Group strives to be a responsible employer that values its workforce as a key asset of the business. We recognise that the success of the organisation is based on the positive involvement and commitment of each and every one of our employees, which is why they are at the heart of everything we do.

We aim to develop long-term relationships with our customers by demonstrating a commitment to delivering value for money through exceptional quality, service and delivery.

We aim to be competitive in world markets. It is for this reason that we are continually innovating and developing new products – anticipating and creating demand in the marketplace.

We are committed to continuous development in every aspect of our business.

Our History

The Reece Group is a private family business that was originally founded by the late Dr Alan Reece, a reader of engineering at Newcastle University and a world authority in the field of Agricultural Engineering and Soil Mechanics. The company is now chaired by his son, John Reece.

Soil Machine Dynamics

The Reece Group originally started as Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD)in the early 1980s.

It was one of the very first university breakout companies and the first employees, led by Dr Alan Reece, were engineering graduates as well as staff from Newcastle University.

Using agricultural plough earth moving technology the business developed a range of equipment used to bury telecommunications cabling and oil pipe lines in the seabed for customers such as British Telecom and BP.

John Reece joined the business in 1984 and in 2003 SMD was transferred into his ownership. John led the business through a period of substantial growth, developing it into a leading manufacturer of subsea remote intervention equipment. John sold SMD in 2008 and returned to the group as its Chairman.

Pearson Engineering Ltd

In the 1980s Pearson Engineering (PEL) was acquired to create a design and manufacturing capability for the rapidly expanding defence business.

PEL focuses on the design and development of a range of Counter-Mine, Counter-IED, Combat Earth Moving and Assault Bridging attachments which increase the operational capability of armoured fighting vehicles.

The company has seen considerable success over the last few years, winning substantial overseas contracts, primarily from the U.S. government and global defence primes such as General Dynamics and BAE Systems.

Randall Flack, one of Dr Alan Reece’s students at Newcastle University and one of the first graduates to be recruited at the very start of the business, is now the company’s Technical Director.

PEL was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation in April 2012 for its development of the Self-Protection Adaptive Roller Kit (SPARK) that has been responsible for saving many lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. The company won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade in 2013 following many years of export success.

Responsive Engineering Ltd

In November 2012, Reece Group completed the acquisition of Responsive Engineering. Since then, Responsive Engineering has been merged with another group manufacturing company, Pearson Engineering Services (PES) to form Responsive Engineering Ltd (REL). REL provides a full range of manufacturing, fabrication and assembly services to the subsea, offshore, oil and gas, power generation and specialist engineering markets.


In April 2012, Reece Group completed the acquisition of Velocity UK Ltd (Velocity). Velocity provides a rapid road repair service to councils and private entities throughout the UK. The company has recently opened an office in the U.S.

Reece Innovation

Reece Innovation was founded in 2013. The company’s objective is to develop new products for new markets and to provide a Research and Development facility providing solutions, both for the Reece Group companies and other businesses throughout the world. At the heart of the company is a multi-disciplinary team, whose core competencies span mechanical engineering. electronic engineering, materials science, sensor technology and signal processing.

Corporate Responsibility

We aim to be a company you would be proud to be associated with – whether you are a customer, supplier, employee or member of the public.

At the Reece Group we take our corporate responsibility very seriously. This is why we invest in the development of our employees, our technologies and our products and services.

The foundations on which our business is built were established by continually improving:

  • The way we develop and manage our employees
  • The quality of our products and services through the development of new processes and skills
  • The health and fitness of our workforce
  • The safety of our workforce and overall working environment
  • Our impact on the wider environment in which we operate
  • Our interaction and relationship with the local community
  • The way we communicate internally and externally
  • The reward and recognition processes that encourage the behaviours and performance that support the business

Our People

The Reece Group understands that the quality of our people is key to delivering the exceptional products and services that our customers have come to expect.

We are committed to ensuring that all of our employees are appropriately trained and qualified to exceed customers’ needs.

We know that in order to stay at the forefront of our industry we need people who are innovative and well versed in cutting edge engineering methods and business development tools. We work hard to ensure that all of our employees have these skills.

Health & Safety

We recognise that our businesses have a responsibility to operate in a safe and environmentally conscious manner.

We therefore take all reasonable measures to protect our employees and the environment from the effects of our day-to-day activities.

Our health and safety strategy is to:

  • Effectively communicate our health and safety policies, procedures and objectives to all of our employees
  • Meet or exceed legal, regulatory and other HSE requirements
  • Ensure health, safety and environmental compliance is an integral part of all employees’ responsibilities and duties, regardless of their position within the organisation.


We are continually striving towards decreasing the environmental impact of all of our activities.

Initiatives to improve our environmental performance include energy and water efficiency, waste minimisation, raw material efficiency and recycling.

Our environmental strategy is to:

  • Identify and assess the risks of pollution and other environmental impacts associated with our operations
  • Take all reasonable measures to control such environmental impacts by utilising the available technology and industry best practice.

Company Giving