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Telford manufacturer doubles size of operation after securing growing orders

By Thom Kennedy | Telford | Business | Published:

Rapid growth over the last two years has seen a Telford manufacturer double the size of its premises and plan for further expansion of the business.

Donna Masefield, Oliver Broad, Jim Arnold, Selina Walker, Jonathan Craven, Katelen Cheshire and Claire Masefield.

Arconic, part of a business which emerged from the split of American giant Alcoa in the second half of last year, has taken over its neighbouring unit to turn it into a 100,000 sq ft business with customers all over the world.

The company's Telford operation has seen turnover expand by about 45 per cent over the last two years, backed by growth in a variety of markets and increasing overseas sales.

It has now taken over the building next door to its factory in Stafford Park, which was previously occupied by windows maker Plaslyne.

Arconic makes fasteners for a variety of industry, including for car and truck manufacturers for use in items like seats. Investment in its capabilities over the last two years has seen it increase its output of larger fasteners and bring new customers on board.

The move into the second premises was partly an act of opportunism, said operations director Jonathan Craven, but it coincided with the company needing additional space to grow into.

"It's bliss," he said. "These things sometimes start as a bit of a pipe dream, with you being almost audacious in your approach to double the size of your facility.

"But you can invest in machinery and find and recruit the right people, but the building next door is the building next door – you can't make another.

"It felt like too good an opportunity to miss and it feels like we will be vindicated in this because it has come alongside growth in the business.

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"The fact that we have expanded in conjunction with the investment justifies the fact that it is money well spent."

Arconic employs about 130 people in Telford, and expects to be able to grow that number as it beds in its new building and continues the expansion of the business. Part of that will be via an apprenticeship programme.

"We are in a position where the market has taken well to the new products we have and not only do we want the investment in manufacturing equipment, we know that is going to require people," Mr Craven added.

"If you're a value-added manufacturing business with the additional site and equipment it requires skills and high-quality staff to realise the opportunity."

A launch event was held to mark the opening of the new building with staff invited from across the business.

Thom Kennedy

By Thom Kennedy
Business Editor - @tkennedy_star

Shropshire Star Business Editor

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