A supplier of equestrian riding hats, body protectors, sportswear and outdoor fashion has relocated to new premises in Hunslet, Leeds, after receiving a £90,000 grant from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
The support has enabled Finest Brands International to stay in Leeds, retain existing jobs and create additional employment as the company expands.
The firm is the exclusive supplier of the equestrian sportswear brand Champion, and is the exclusive supplier of the Toggi brand of clothing and footwear to a network of over 800 wholesalers and retailers across the UK.
Since moving to its new premises, which comprise 50,000 sq ft of warehouse space and 8,000 sq ft of offices, the company has strengthened its workforce with a number of new appointments including a new project manager and an assistant warehouse manager.
Permanent contracts have also been offered to four warehouse operatives previously employed on a temporary basis to help with the relocation project, in addition to an eight-strong sales team based across the UK.
Over the next twelve months Finest Brands International expects to expand its product design, online marketing and customer services teams.
Growth is being fuelled by increasing demand for both Champion and Toggi products in the UK and overseas, thanks to endorsement by three-time Olympic medallist Pippa Funnell and jockey Ruby Walsh.
Managing director Sarah-Jane Fedarb said: “Finest Brands has been based at our previous premises in Leeds since the company was set up in 1990. However, the site had become far too small and we needed to lease additional warehouse facilities to cope with the growth of the business and increasing diversity of our product range.
“The inability to expand at our former site presented problems, with the ever-increasing demand for quick turnaround of our range of high quality and performance products, and the desire to offer same day despatch to our retail partners.
As we were approaching the end of our lease, it made sense to consolidate operations in a single location to improve customer service and ensure we afforded ourselves room to grow the business in future.”
Eric Hawthorn, managing director of Radio Design and chair of the LEP's Business Innovation and Growth panel, said: “This is another fantastic example of how the LEP is supporting a local business to invest in premises that are fit for purpose, so existing jobs are retained and create new employment and business opportunities.
“The LEP can support businesses based in the region who want to grow or upskill their staff."
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