A £1m investment into a new glass toughening plant is set to help a Norwich manufacturer target £3m in sales – for the first time in its 44-year history.
Seaglaze, a producer of specialist windows, door and hatches for the marine industry, decided to reshore production after experiencing delays and shortages caused by international suppliers.
“We always wanted to have our own glass toughening plant, but it was always more of a longer-term vision,” explained Alastair Clayton, Managing Director.
“However, the glass we need is very specialised and we found ourselves running out, as suppliers were struggling to keep up with demands from the construction and architectural sectors that are beginning to pick up again.”
He continued: “This meant that we were in danger of falling behind on production, so made the decision to take hold of our destiny and look at ways of creating our own facility here in Norfolk.
GROW:OffshoreWind specialist advisor Mark Godfrey visited Seaglaze to understand its plans and within a matter of weeks had secured a 20% capital grant towards the cost of its toughening plant and the advanced ceramic printer.
This enabled Seaglaze to print words, colours and images seamlessly into the glass, ideal for both marine work and for a potential move into the type of architectural glass increasingly used in new buildings.
A new division – Specialist Toughened Glass – has also been formed and is expected to help the company grow turnover from £2m to £3m over the next two years. The workforce will also be increased by 20% to 50 staff.
Mr Godfrey added: “The recent investment in the toughened glass plant provides Seaglaze with the perfect platform to grow, as the firm now has total control over its supply chain and can offer additional services to new and existing customers.
“The real icing on the cask is that Seaglaze is adding to the reshoring trend, bringing back over £600,000 of spend into the UK.”