Manufacturer set for growth following investment

A manufacturer, whose products can be found in more than 50 million homes across the world, is set for a period of sustainable growth after buying its rented premises and factory outright.

MetflexGreat Harwood-based Metflex Precision Mouldings Limited (Metflex), which produces specialist rubber components, has bought its 37,000 square foot office and factory in a deal worth £2m with 100 per cent finance support from Yorkshire Bank in Blackburn.

The premises on Alan Ramsbottom Way were purpose-built for Metflex in 2010 by a joint venture between Barnfield Construction and Hyndburn Borough Council. The manufacturer moved in as a rent-paying occupier but, after a period of growth, has decided to buy the property outright.

As well as rubber diaphragms and regulators for gas meters, which the company believes are present in more than 50 million homes across North America as well as the UK and Europe, the company also supplies its specialist moulded products into eight industries including the sub –sea drive coupling and audio industries across the world. Currently the company is preparing to launch a range of milk liners and tubing into the dairy sectors in the UK and Europe.

Metflex employs around 80 people, rising to 110 with temporary staff during seasonal peaks. Around 70 per cent of its revenues are generated from overseas sales.

Dermot McCarthy, Metflex financial director, said buying their premises, which includes offices and production areas, will provide the company with the security and stability to pursue sustainable growth opportunities.

He said: "Most people want the security of owning their own home, and businesses are no different. We've enjoyed our new home since we relocated in 2010 and felt that, following a strong period for our business, we wanted to invest in our bricks and mortar to provide us with a solid foundation from which to grow further. We also felt it important to commit the business to the East Lancashire community which is known across the world for its specialist manufacturing credentials.

"We are looking to invest in our staff, possibly increasing the number of people we employ here, as well as machinery and equipment so that we can continue to develop our products and meet growing global demand." Ian Hardman, head of Yorkshire Bank's Business and Private Banking Centre in Preston, said: "Chairman Phil Rogerson and managing director John Holland have created a strong and globally-reaching business whose products are used in a wide variety of growing and important industries around the world. Despite various global economic challenges, which they have withstood, Metflex continues to go from strength to strength."