Mercian Labels' new factory in Burntwood, Staffordshire has been formally opened by local MP Michael Fabricant.
The 45 year old label manufacturing business recently purchased the site on the Plant Lane Business Park in Burntwood to continue its expansion as a result of demand for its digital and security labelling products.
The new 24,000 ft2 factory represents a significant increase in capacity for the business that was previously based in a 6,000ft2 site in Cannock.
"After 7 consecutive years of growth we were experiencing significant overcrowding challenges" explained managing director Dr Adrian Steele . "We identified this vacant former speedboat manufacturing facility earlier this summer as being ideal for our future needs and with support from our professional advisers we secured a quick transaction in early August. This allowed us to refit the site to our specification before moving the factory in October.”
“The project has taken a lot of effort from everyone involved. Our staff have been amazing - everyone moved with us and the relocation itself went well ahead of schedule. The new factory will allow us to expand production to meet both domestic and export demand for our tamper evident and digital label & carton products for the next 10 years."
“With a fantastic facility like this we can now grow to meet pent up customer demand for our products. We have already committed to significant new machinery investment for 2015 that we just couldn't fit into our previous site, enabling us to increase production capacity. 'Poised for further growth' is on overused term, but now that our capacity constraints have been lifted we expect further significant growth in the next 3 years. Its like taking the handcuffs off our team to get on and do what they do best.” said Steele.
The site was formally opened on Friday 7th November by Michael Fabricant, MP for Lichfield in the presence of 70 stakeholders including customers, suppliers, staff, local councillors and professional advisers. Unveiling a commemorative plaque at the factory Michael Fabricant said "I used to be a customer of Mercian Labels before I ever became an MP, so it was a genuine pleasure and a privilege to open their new facility in Burntwood. Mercian Labels are just one of four specialized security label printers in the world so it is great to see more hi-technology moving into Lichfield District. I hope to visit them again when their new production line is installed."
Attending the formal opening and factory tour were representatives from key suppliers from the labelling industry including Neil Lilly from Rotometrics, Phill Attwood from Avery Dennison, Nick Boyle from Manter and Paul Briggs from Xeikon.
Mercian Labels again turned its trusted legal advisers at Pickerings LLP in Tamworth to complete the property transaction quickly to allow occupation before its busy pre Christmas manufacturing period. Craig Davies and Kate Pearce advised on the property transaction. “We've used Pickerings before and given the existing local relationship with our new bankers it was a no-brainer to instruct Kate again. Ultimately what matters is delivering the goods in a project like this, and Kate and Craig did that.” Pickerings partner Craig Davies added “The move to the new premises in Burntwood marked yet another successful milestone in the history of Mercian Labels. We were delighted to be the key legal advisers on the project working within considerably tight timescales and would like to wish the owners and staff of Mercian Labels every success moving forward.”
Interior architecture consultants DSD Design led by Tony Salmon from Birmingham advised on the refit design and specifications. “We used DSD in 2010 when we refitted our previous factory and they were appointed early on in the process to devise the best layout and specification for the building. The finished building looks great, creates a welcoming 'wow' for visitors and is a delight to work in for all our staff” added Steele. “ CIBC Commercial Interiors were the principal refit contractor.
The acquisition saw Mercian Labels review its banking facilities which concluded with a change of banker to Handlesbanken in Tamworth, one of the rapidly growing so called 'challenger banks'. "Our incumbent bank were keen to support the deal, but at the last minute fresh terms were imposed to include some new obligations that we could not accept. Handlesbanken had been recommended to us a number of times in recent years because of their branch based decision making process, and so we turned to them first” explained MD Adrian Steele. “When we explained the transaction to Christine and Paul from Handlesbanken's Tamworth branch they bought into the deal straight away, and delivered on it. It was a refreshing experience and enabled us to deliver on our commitments and preferred time-scale to secure the property.” Paul Thacker of Handlesbanken added “Working for a local bank and being from Burntwood myself it is always a pleasure to assist a successful local business, such as Mercian, to relocate to fantastic new premises which will help them meet their future goals and aspirations.”
Mercian Labels will be recruiting another 25 full time positions across its new Burntwood and existing Derby factories in the next 3 years to expand its team in a variety of roles including skilled production roles, apprenticeships, finance, marketing, sales, quality and management.
The project was supported by the Regional Growth Fund and the Business Development Programme that encourages job creating businesses in Staffordshire to grow and fulfil their potential.