One of the UK’s leading rubber hose manufacturers has put Warwickshire at the heart of its growth strategy after moving to a new manufacturing facility. Goodflex Rubber
, which manufactures and supplies rubber hoses, mouldings and assemblies, has capitalised on substantial growth by moving its entire operation to a larger location in Alcester.
The repositioning, which Goodflex shareholders voted for unanimously in March, saw the company and its 38 staff swap its former 8,000ft2
site in Honeybourne, Worcestershire, for a new 32,000ft2
facility that is a 30min drive from Birmingham Airport and Warwick Parkway train station, creating four new jobs as a result.
The company has invested over £500,000 in the move after enjoying a 70% increase in revenue over the last three years and received help and advice regarding funding from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership
(CWLEP) Growth Hub.
Goodflex Rubber received grants to optimise its new headquarters from the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme and the Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme, which is being delivered by Coventry City Council, Coventry University, and Coventry University Enterprises Ltd.
Improvements made thanks to the Business Support Programme grant include the refurbishment of cladding and exterior of the building; office and reception refurbishment; installation of a new cleanroom in the factory; electrical infrastructure reinforcements; purchase of a bay lift; installation of a CCTV system; renovation of interior facilities; additional racking; installation of new hose stripping area and a new CNC oscillating cutting machine which will increase capacity by 200% to boost production capacity.
Meanwhile, the Green Business Programme grant has helped to fund the replacement of 72 metal halide light fittings in the factory with new intelligent energy-efficient fittings; the replacement of fluorescent lighting units in the office and reception areas with LED fittings and the installation of destratification fans in the factory to help heat retention, with the planned installation of heating ventilation and air conditioning systems in the factory, office and reception areas and the replacement of an old and under-sized air compressor.
Both programmes are partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The relocation and improvements have enabled the business to double its raw material process capacity, which has proved crucial at a time when material shortages, price increases and supply chain disruption have impacted businesses.
Goodflex Rubber has also been helped by the Growth Hub to develop links with the Manufacturing and Technology Centre (MTC), and Aston University’s Innovation Programme ahead of potential research collaborations.
Mark Dufty, Goodflex Rubber managing director, said: “We analysed a number of locations ahead of the planned move before deciding that Alcester was the best location in terms of size, transport links and connections to a strong, regional manufacturing industry.
“The support provided by the Growth Hub and Coventry City Council was essential to planning and executing the relocation, which will be crucial to achieving our growth targets within the next three years.”
Jim Clark, account manager at the CWLEP Growth Hub, said: “The Growth Hub is always on hand to help businesses of all kinds find success within Coventry and Warwickshire, and that includes welcoming new peers into the region and helping them to access funding and support.
“The move may only be minor in terms of geographic location, but the strategic benefits to Goodflex’s new connections and improved operational potential will be felt for years to come as the company continues to grow.”
Denise Osborne, business development advisor at Coventry City Council, said: “This funding will help Goodflex to accelerate business growth, while moving to a larger location has removed the space constraints, creating new employment opportunities and the business is now free to scale up its operations.
“This business is a fantastic example of how Coventry City Council can provide the right help at the right time to allow businesses to do just that.”
Bernie McCullagh, business energy advisor with the Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme at Coventry City Council, said: “It is great to see the local economy growing without having a negative impact on the environment.
“By making energy efficiency improvements to their lighting, ventilation systems and machinery, Goodflex reduced their CO2
emissions by 133.77 tonnes per year. We hope that more businesses in the region will now seek our support to reduce their carbon emissions.”