Monday, February 1, 2021

News: 200 jobs hope as plans submitted for multimillion pound Rotherham manufacturing facility


A planning application has been submitted that will enable an award-winning Rotherham-based strength and fitness clothing company to continue to expand in the borough.

Rothbiz reported in 2020 that SBD Apparel had secured approval for a £1.5m grant via the Sheffield city region that would be used to "capitalise on growth opportunities currently limited by production capacity, by meeting existing demand, bringing to market new products, and expanding into new countries and sports."

SBD Apparel has already grown its staffing tenfold and doubled turnover after relocating to the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham. The company manufactures premium performance clothing worn by elite strength and fitness athletes across the world and moved its offices and warehouses closer to its main factory in Rotherham. In the two years since relocating, SBD has increased turnover by 160%, growing its workforce from four members of staff to 41.

Now a planning application has been submitted by the AMP's developer, Harworth Group, for a 100,000 sq ft unit, purpose-built for SBD, on remaining commercial land at Waverley.

The plans, drawn up by consultants, the Harris Partnership, state: "The proposed development will provide the company with a new headquarters in a dedicated building which will combine all its employees and facilities from the 5 buildings the company utilises at present. It will enable the company to expand as follows:

• Triple its employees in the next 5 years from 100-300 staff.
• Distribute to approximately 100 countries worldwide (40 at present).
• Increase production of existing products.
• Develop new products as well as bringing prototypes to market.
• Expand into different sport markets from powerlifting to Olympic weightlifting and gymnastics.

"The application seeks to build on the success of both the AMP and a local company which contributes towards the advanced manufacturing success of the region. The AMP wants to retain SBD as an occupier so they can build on their staggering success and growth over the last few years."

If approved, the company would combine its two sites (one building on the AMP and four at Thurcroft) in Rotherham on to one larger site at the AMP.

The products designed and manufactured by SBD are developed for world class athletes. The company uses new manufacturing techniques and traditional methods to develop gold standard products. As SBD has grown, they have developed and invested heavily in building their manufacturing base, as well as the state of the art machinery and techniques which ensure that they remain the top of their field.

ABD Apparel website

Images: Harworth / Harris Partnership


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