What More UK director, Tony Grimshaw
A Lancashire manufacturer of plastic household products including bakeware and cookware has seen a boost in international contracts, thanks in part to joining the Made in Britain organisation and using its official marque to indicate the provenance of its products.
What More UK says a significant part of its international success is owed to the support of Made in Britain, an organisation committed to supporting British manufacturers to make the most of opportunities domestically and overseas.
The use of Made in Britain’s official accreditation marque, which is included on thousands of What More UK products on shelves on high street stores across the country, and a two-minute promotional video about What More UK, the heritage of its products and the quality of British manufacturing, has contributed in an 18% boost in export sales in 2018.
The film was made by the Made in Britain’s marketing team after What More UK agreed to host one of the organisation’s regional training workshops at its factory.
What More UK, established in 1999, manufactures a range of homeware, gardening and DIY products under the brand name Wham. It sells in a range of UK stores and in more than 72 overseas markets, and has most recently won contracts in Vietnam and Azerbaijan.
The business recorded sales of around £50m last year and employs 243 people at its sites in Accrington and Padiham, Burnley. Off the back of its domestic and international success, it has invested £11m in new manufacturing equipment over the past 18 months to boost manufacturing capacity by 25% and plans to expand its manufacturing warehouse by 200,000 sq. ft.
Made in Britain, which counts more than 1,000 UK-based manufacturers in its membership, is an independent organisation dedicated to celebrating and supporting British manufacturers of every size by offering a marque of accreditation for goods that have been made or have undergone substantial change in Britain.
Tony Grimshaw OBE, director of What More UK, said: “Some international buyers assume that products made in Britain are high-quality but often too expensive, and that’s simply not the case. We’re changing those perceptions by meeting with buyers face-to-face at trade shows to prove that value doesn’t necessarily have to impact on quality.
“We’re seeing a real global trend for buying British and our business is growing at rapid speed because of it. It’s a great time for British manufacturers to tap into this trend and one of the main reasons we joined Made in Britain was to be part of a network of firms all striving towards the same goal – to showcase the diverse British manufacturing sector so buyers in the UK and overseas can make informed choices.”
John Pearce, chief executive of Made in Britain, said: “What More UK is a stellar example to British manufacturers of the types of opportunities that are out there, both domestically and overseas.
“There’s an enormous amount of passion for manufacturing in the UK and it’s heartening to see one of our founding members harnessing the trend of buying British. What More UK has pushed into emerging and next-generation markets and we’re proud to have helped give them the edge in a globally competitive marketplace.”
PD Ports Northern Powerhouse Export Awards, in association with HSBC and the Department for International Trade, seeks to recognise the most entrepreneurial exporters from across the North of England.
For more info visit www.northernexportawards.co.uk.
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