PCE Automation

I would advise anyone to get in touch with the Growth Hub. Just reach out because you’d be amazed at the help the Growth Hub can give you, to unlock your growth ambitions.

James Cook Managing Director, PCE Automation

James Cook PCE

PCE Automation

“Just reach out because you’d be amazed at the help the Growth Hub can give you.”

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Managing Director, James Cook, tells us about his experience working with New Anglia Growth Hub. Click here to find out more about the support PCE Automation received or read the story below.


Leadership qualities run through the Cook family and PCE Automation is a family-run business, founded by Ernest James Cook, grandfather of current Managing Director James Cook, in 1961.

First established as Poolcraft, a boat builder for luxury river craft, the company have diversified to become one of the UK’s fastest growing manufacturers of automation machinery, with a powerful surge of growth in recent years.

The Beccles-based automation specialists, possess full in-house skills and capabilities to craft world class bespoke automation, from concept design to product realisation, within an array of life enhancing sectors, including FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) to Ocular, Medical and Life Sciences.

Throughout the past three and a half years, with the support of the New Anglia Growth Hub, PCE have grown at pace; employing 38 people in 2016, rising to 100 employees in 2020. This huge acceleration, has been supported by the New Anglia Growth Hub which has helped the company secure vital grants and has provided invaluable advice along the way.

Scale Up New Anglia

William Millar, a New Anglia Growth Hub Business Adviser and former engineer, has a thorough understanding of PCE Automation, regularly visiting the site and mentoring James as part of the Scale Up New Anglia programme.

Scale Up New Anglia is extensive; created to facilitate high growth within ambitious businesses. It brings together groups of like-minded entrepreneurs who take part in a range of fully funded activities.

This includes one-to-one business coaching, group workshops and events, as well as access to funding and signposting to specialist programmes including the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Programme. This is a free course which helps business leaders create employment opportunities through providing education, capital and business support services.

“This was the big eye-opener for myself,” said James. “It showed me what was possible within the business, in terms of growth opportunities.”

Global Ambitions

This has led to The PCE GROUP acquiring new businesses and creating a strong foothold within the growing US market. James’s unwavering ambition is to propel The PCE GROUP as a global brand within automation.

PCE Automation is a Gold Scale Up New Anglia company. This ‘Gold’ accolade reflects the success of James’s business, his new role championing Scale Up New Anglia to other business leaders and providing peer-to-peer advice.

James has been only too happy to help other companies tread that same path to their own scale-up journey. “I would advise anyone to get in touch with the Growth Hub,” said James. “Just reach out because you’d be amazed at the help the Growth Hub can give you, to unlock your growth ambitions.”

Reaching Out

Business Advisor, William Millar is clear about what makes PCE Automation a business which continues to thrive; it is about family strength and leadership. “James is passionate about the family nature of the business and the leadership he displays demonstrates a real involvement. When you combine those qualities, it makes for a really good and growing business – as the evidence has shown.”

With James’ own children now employed in the business, the family’s business legacy is set to continue.

Get in touch to find out how the New Anglia Growth Hub could help you. Call 0300 333 6536 or email info@newangliagrowthhub.co.uk

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