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Corbetts to invest £300,000 in its 160th year
One of the UK’s oldest hot dip galvanizing specialists is celebrating a major birthday in 2020 by pressing the button on a £300,000 investment drive.
Corbetts the Galvanizers, which employs 105 people at its Telford facility, will turn 160 this year and has a range of events scheduled to help it mark the major anniversary, including the installation of new flux and acid tanks that will free up capacity and speed up the galvanizing process.
The management team are now setting their sights on a 7% increase in volumes, which, if achieved, will generate an additional £1m of revenue for the firm.
“It has certainly been a roller coaster 12 months,” explained Sophie Williams, who was appointed as finance director at just 28 years-old, making her one of the youngest female directors in the sector.
“We have spent a lot of the last twelve months building a platform that would allow us to work through the economic issues we faced, whilst also pressing on with our desire to reinforce our position as one of the UK’s leading hot dip galvanizers.”
“In fact, when we actually look at the figures, we can see that we achieved our best ever year for new sales and a lot of this was down to our repositioning, a new brand and successfully passing our ISO 9001 quality accreditation.
“When products roll out of our facility in the heart of Shropshire, the stunning finish we create is something that usually tells us that the processes, the staff and the investment we have signed off on is working.”
The company, which was originally founded by Samuel Corbett, opened its Wellington factory in 1860 and Shropshire has remained its home ever since.
However, today’s site on Halesfield, its base since 1999, will be barely recognisable to those that started out all those years ago, with a new water recovery system in place, state-of-the-art kettles installed and a 13-strong fleet of vehicles in the yard acting as the distribution nerve centre for serving its customer base.
Another major milestone was the purchase of the business by Canadian investment house Ardenton Capital in 2017 and, under its renewed backing, it has enjoyed a steep upward growth curve, putting on over £1.2m in sales and enjoying new successes in construction and the automotive sector.
“Our galvanizing can be seen on street furniture, to keep vital IT infrastructure safe and on articulated lorry trailers carrying goods all over the UK. We even have a big say on the chassis that thousands of static caravans sit on. It’s all about delivering the performance, yet still making sure they look great,” added Sophie.
She concluded: “2020 will be a real celebration of our history, but also a marker in the sand for the next 160 years, starting with a 7% increase in volumes. If we achieve this, revenue should be up by £1m – now that’s a good birthday present.”
A ‘right first time’ commitment has resonated with Corbett’s the Galvanizer’s client base and helped it convert pipeline business into actual sales, as it looks to head towards £12m of annual sales.
All 105 employees at its Telford manufacturing base are now part of a new training and rigorous development programme that is designed to blend new starts immediately into the team and allow existing individuals to upskill. This has been achieved through the creation of an operational support team, which is in charge of the workplace environment, employee incentive scheme and identifying opportunities for people to grow and positively influence the business.