A Warwickshire manufacturer has doubled staff and turnover after investing £1.4 million in an ambitious move that has been given regional support.
Artel Rubber, which makes a range of hoses for a variety of industries including rail, automotive and energy, has completed a move to a new manufacturing unit in Alcester.
It was previously based in three separate units in Bidford-on-Avon but has now moved to the new purpose-built property on the Springfield Industrial Estate.
The move, which has already seen productivity rise by almost 50 per cent and has led to new domestic and overseas orders, was supported by the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub.
Simon Lavin, executive director of Artel Rubber, told Phil Peak, an account manager at the Growth Hub, about his plans when they met around a year ago.
And with Phil’s help they managed to secure a £100,000 grant through the Regional Growth Fund 3, managed by Coventry City Council on behalf of Coventry and Warwickshire LEP, which meant the project could happen. Although this particular fund has now expired, there are several other grant funds currently available.
Simon said: “We’ve reinvested money from the business and we’ve been supported by the bank but we needed more to make the whole project work. Thankfully, Phil and the Growth Hub could see the potential and the ambitions we have and without that money, we couldn’t have made the move.
“The floorspace has nearly doubled here but the big benefit is we are on one site which has improved productivity and efficiency. As well as that, it’s given us a bigger area where we can recycle waste material, which benefits the environment and has also reduced costs.”
The company hand-makes thousands of products each year and exports to Australia, Europe, the USA and China.
“We wanted to move to the next level and we simply couldn’t have done that without moving to a new home,” added Simon. “We have just picked up a new contract in the rail industry overseas and I don’t think we could have gone for it without the move.
“We are now looking at opening further overseas facilities to help us win more work, particularly in the Far East.”
Phil said the CWLEP Growth Hub would continue to support Artel Rubber particularly around skills.
He added: “When you look at the outcomes that the support has achieved, it really has been very positive for the company and for the local economy.
“They’ve taken on more staff, moved into new premises, they’ve become more productive and are now competing for and winning work on a scale that they couldn’t have done before.
“We are delighted to be able to support the company in this way and look forward to working with them in the future.”
Pictured: Simon Lavin (Artel Rubber), Phil Peak (CWLEP Growth Hub) and Jacques Commeny (Artel Rubber).