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National Recognition for Lancashire Company at Westminster Event

Darwen Terracotta, who have won two Hive awards in their home town of Blackburn, has received national recognition with an invitation to feature in the prestigious Parliamentary Review and attend an exclusive reception at the Palace of Westminster on September 18. Selected companies will meet leading politicians to advance the case for a skills-based manufacturing economy.

Started in 2015, following the closure of the architectural ceramics division of another local business, Darwen Terracotta is preserving and developing craft skills that have a history of over 100 years. From a zero order book, the company has grown rapidly and the 36 staff expect to exceed their £2 million turnover target for the next trading period.

Operations director Steve Allen commented, “I think that we were invited to participate because we have an interesting story, one that is still unfolding as we expand the business, enter new markets and build an ever-richer level of skills and experience.  Saving more than 30 jobs and preserving the age-old craft skills required for architectural ceramics is part of our story, but we are moving on, we have now doubled our manufacturing capacity, have several prestige projects completed, a solid order book and pipeline of good quality enquiries.”

“Businesses like ours provide varied, creative and satisfying employment and we need help to recruit and train the next generation of employees to take this forward and support growth in the UK and in export markets. This is the message that we will be taking to Westminster,” Steve continued.

Darwen Terracotta is based in the Whitebirk industrial estate in Blackburn. The directors and staff have all been employed in the manufacture of terracotta and faience for most of their working lives. A large part of the company’s activity is in the restoration of Victorian buildings in the UK, but they also plan to expand into overseas markets where Brexit has made their product even more competitive. Faience is also attracting architects’ attention for new build work. A good example of this is a £1.4 million contract for facias on a new prestige hotel, cinema and leisure complex to be built in Leicester Square, London.

Sales director Jon Wilson concluded, “This is just the start. We have ranges of new standard products under development that we can use to smooth the peaks and troughs that are part of the construction industry. Export also offers significant potential, particularly since the Brexit devaluation of Sterling made the product even more competitive. We are well placed for the next phase of growth.”     

More Information
Jon Wilson, Director Tel. +44 (0)1254 460 500
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Darwen Terracotta Ltd, Building O, Ribble House, Ribble Business Park, Challenge Way, Blackburn, Lancashire. BB1 5RB

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