Established over 40 years ago and incorporated in 1981, Molygran is an innovative polystyrene converter manufacturing packaging, design and merchandising materials and specialist pieces for the civil engineering sector. It employs ten people at its factory in Radcliffe.
The company’s work includes bespoke designs for small companies and individuals, such as sculptors and model makers, as well as merchandisers and large organisations such as the major TV companies – Molygran produced an imitation wrought iron gate for one of Britain’s most loved soap dramas, Emmerdale.
However, the company had problems with their premises which were old and too small; therefore growth was being affected so they turned to the Hub for advice to help support their ambitions.
With several new products in development, including insulated ducting and carpet display boards made from polystyrene, the company were rapidly out growing their existing premises, with the lack of usable space having a negative effect on sales.
Working with Tracy Eyres, a business advisor at the Hub, the company looked into buying both land and property across Bury but no suitable sites were available.
“Usable space was becoming a big issue for the business and we needed to start thinking ‘outside of the box’ about ways to fund an expansion,” explains Tracy. “As I got to know the business more, and understand their product range, I realised that there was huge export potential and that could help open the door to new funding streams.”
This allowed Tracy to approach the Greater Manchester Export Fund on their behalf, with a bid for finance to fund an extension to their existing building. Within a month of submitting the application the business received its first export order, from Belgium, and several new foreign markets, including Holland, are currently being explored for future exports.
The bid to the Export Fund also proved successful, with Molygran receiving £90,000 against a total investment of £450,000. Tracy also helped the company liaise with the council’s planning department and complete a planning application, and construction is now underway to rework the factory floor and make production flow more efficient.
The company’s managing director Keith Fairhurst explains: “We’re now looking forward to an increase in turnover of between 30-50% in the next 12 months thanks to the exports, and that means we’ll be able to take on five new staff, who we hope will all come from the local area.”
The business has also been working with the Hub’s environmental specialists, building on its existing strong environmental commitments with projects around energy efficient lighting and waste reduction.
In the absence of any suitable available space in the area, the business are also currently in the process of extending and refurbishing their original site. In addition the building that backs onto that site has been purchased to futureproof growth.