Andrew Ward Workwear Express

Workwear Express managing director Andrew Ward

Workwear Expresss secures £3.5m investment

The Durham-based supplier of personalised workwear, uniform and promotional clothing will use the funding to accelerate its ambitious growth plans.

Workwear Express, located at Belmont Industrial Estate in Durham, plans to more than double its turnover from £22m to over £50m by 2023 after securing a £3.5m investment.

To support its expansion plans, the company has purchased an additional 40,000 sq ft building on the site, which will link with its existing 25,000 sq ft premises and house advanced new machinery and modern office space.

It demonstrates Workwear Express’ continued investment into County Durham and the wider North East region and will support the creation of more than 30 jobs in 2018, increasing its team of 170 to more than 200.

Currently growing by 1,200 new customers every week, Workwear Express has more than 100,000 active customers across its three divisions – e-commerce; key accounts and international – across sectors including healthcare, industrial and hospitality. 

Managing director Andrew Ward said: “Workwear Express is set to become the biggest modern facility of its kind in the UK and this multi-million pound investment is a strategic decision to support our exciting growth plans.

“We recognised a need to expand our premises in order to increase capacity to meet the demand for our products and services, particularly as we expand our operations further overseas.

“Our people are the backbone of the company and our strong position is thanks to the contribution our fantastic staff have made to the success of the business, many of them long-serving.

“We are proud of our North East roots and committed to supporting the local economy and jobs, and Belmont offers the ideal location for the business. When the opportunity to purchase the site directly next to our current facility opened up, it was a no-brainer.

"Our sales and marketing team have already moved into the new site and we’re looking forward to the new machinery being installed and getting up and running in the next few months.”

Workwear Express was founded in 1990 when Ward began selling work clothing to the trade and public from the back of a van. The company moved to Belmont Industrial Estate in 2005.

He added: “We have a great team spirit at Workwear Express and a number of staff who have been with us upwards of 10, 20 years and more.

"This investment is about giving our people more opportunities to develop and grow their careers with us as we look forward to an exciting future.”

General manager Simon Maw has been with Workwear Express for 12 years, starting out as a finance apprentice aged 20, when the company first moved to Belmont.

He said: “It is very exciting to work for a company that is always expanding and evolving. I came to Workwear Express as a finance apprentice 12 years ago and I have had the opportunity to develop my career learning on the job and receiving excellent mentoring.

"I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my apprenticeship and it’s fantastic to see young apprentices in every department at Workwear Express learning invaluable skills and growing with the company.