Pipe manufacturer, Naylor Industries, has opened a multi-million pound factory extension to produce larger diameter pipes to help protect Britain against flooding.
Edward Naylor took over as chief executive in 1993, and the company’s turnover broke through the £50m barrier for the first time this year.
Today Naylor Industries employs 400 people at six sites across the UK.
Edward Naylor said: “Every year we seem to be seeing once-in-a-lifetime weather events. We often have frequent torrential rain now and therefore we saw a gap in the market to produce larger pipes and protect Britain from flooding.
“As it rains more heavily, we need larger capacity pipelines to deal with storm water.”
The pipes are too big for international trade and so will be transported across the UK by wide-load lorry loads.
Key staff from the business travelled to Germany recently to learn the skills needed to operate the larger equipment. Naylor said it was imperative to invest in staff and that this expansion and investment was a great way for them to up-skill.
In 2008, the company completed a £4m investment in its Cawthorne production facilities to manufacture 600mm diameter pipe, helping the company to accelerate out of the last recession.
The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership provided a £615,000 grant to support the latest project, which creates 20 further jobs on the Cawthorne site.
Naylor said British manufacturing has a ‘bright future’ and that Naylor Industries trades internationally and has exported pipes onto every continent and into 65 overseas markets.
He said: “If you use the best available technology and you are efficient in your raw material sourcing and processes, the fact that your unit cost of labour is more expensive than overseas competitors is mitigated by the fact that they have to pay a lot of money to ship their products across the world.”
Naylor made the investment decision before Britain voted to leave the European Union. Naylor said that the Brexit decision had caused a slightly turbulent market but that this was something they were confident over of overcoming.
Naylor added: “Although this has introduced some uncertainty into our key markets, we hope in due course to get our share of the big infrastructure projects which are in the pipeline such as the high-speed rail, smart motorway and nuclear power projects,” he added.