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Transcend Packaging creates new jobs following investment
Transcend Packaging has nearly doubled its permanent workforce to 127 staff in just four months, after switching part of its operations to create personal protective equipment (PPE) in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Based in Ystrad Mynach, Wales, the company specialises in providing sustainable packaging products to quick service restaurants including McDonalds and Starbucks. By converting some of its production lines, and with assistance from Life Sciences Hub Wales, the company has been able to supply over 15 million protective face shields to frontline health and social care staff since April.
The switch has helped to safeguard the jobs of over 70 employees as orders for the hospitality sector dropped during lockdown. Now, with restaurants beginning to reopen and orders for the industry picking back up, the company has initiated a recruitment drive, employing an additional 54 permanent staff and 30 agency workers to meet global demand for both its packaging and PPE.
The news comes as Transcend has been awarded more than £10m of funding, led by private equity firm IW Capital, to facilitate the growth of the business, which it will use to expand its range of paper-based packaging solutions, further reducing the quick serve industry’s dependence on single use plastics. The company will also continue to produce PPE longterm, alongside its regular sustainable packaging products.
Lorenzo Angelucci, CEO at Transcend Packaging, said: “The UK lockdown led to a significant drop in demand for our packaging so adapting our operations was critical to protecting the business. Since restaurants have reopened, orders have picked back up again, enabling us to return to producing products for the sector. Despite this, we plan on continuing the manufacturing of face shields and coverings to help protect workers on the frontline and provide much needed protection to retail, hospitality and office staff as they return to their workplaces.
“Social distancing looks set to stay for the foreseeable, so our aim is to be part of the long-term solution by making a full suite of PPE products that can be used by employees across a range of settings, as well as the public. Increasing our workforce will be key to achieving this expansion and we are pleased to have been able to provide employment opportunities to people in the region.”
Transcend is currently manufacturing more than one million face shields a week with the capacity to double this to two million as circumstances warrant. As well as supplying the products to various settings across the UK, its shields have also been distributed internationally across Europe, Japan and the US.
Made from reinforced paper boards and recyclable materials, Transcend’s first face shields were designed for single use and to be recycled. The company has since introduced a new plastic free, fully compostable version, which has proven extremely popular with demand for the range increasing.
Life Sciences Hub Wales, which has been appointed by Welsh Government to manage all initial enquiries and offers of support from businesses on behalf of NHS Wales, worked closely with Transcend to help it adapt its production line and ensure its face shields met all necessary standards, including crucial CE certification.
Cari-Anne Quinn, CEO of Life Sciences Hub Wales, added: “Transcend’s products have helped protect key workers all over the country and their efforts to help the frontline are commendable. In addition to supporting NHS Wales and health workers all over the world, their team’s drive to adjust and innovate is generating an economic boost and employment opportunities at a crucial time for Wales.”