Friday, February 13, 2015

News: Beatson Clark invests for growth

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Rotherham glass manufacturer Beatson Clark may be nearly 265 years old but it continues to look to its future with its long term, £12m investment programme.

The Greasborough Road firm, which has been making glass bottles and jars in Rotherham since 1751, specialises in providing glass packaging solutions for niche brands in the food, drink and pharmaceutical markets worldwide.

This week saw House of Lords Deputy Chief Whip Lord Newby OBE take a tour of the facility and see the recently built new amber furnace, a new six-section bottle forming machine and a new capping machine.

Beatson Clark successfully bid for £1.7m in round 4 of the government's Regional Growth Fund in 2013.

The new furnace has a larger melting area, improving Beatson Clark's capacity to supply the growing market for craft beer bottles both in the UK and overseas. The firm also manufactures for the pharmaceutical sector, supplying packaging for household brands including Lemsip, Gaviscon and Covonia.

Lynn Sidebottom, sales and marketing director at Beatson Clark, said: "The grant we secured through the Regional Growth Fund was a terrific boost for Beatson Clark and the local economy in Rotherham as it enabled us to strengthen the service we provide to the pharmaceutical sector.

"It also facilitated an expansion of our activities in the growing brewery sector and helped to secure jobs for the future."

The melting area in the furnace has been increased by more than six sq m and can produce around 200 tonnes of glass per day. Glass furnaces need to be completely rebuilt every ten years. As part of the investment programme a new £5.4m white flint furnace became fully operational in 2012, producing the more translucent bottles and jars used increasingly in the niche food and drink sector.

As well as investing in new production equipment and updating its computer-aided design (CAD) system, the firm is also making key appointments to its staff. Chris Palmer joined as a new business development manager in October and Alison Hughes joined in the same role in December.

On her appointment, Alison said: "I'm focusing on the craft brewing market because it's a sector that's showing enormous growth at present. The breweries I've spoken to so far have been surprised to find they can have customised beer bottles at such low volumes and outlay, so the sector is proving to be a perfect fit for Beatson Clark's small production runs and flexible approach."

Beatson Clark website

Images: Beatson Clark

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