Housewares supplier Charles Bentley & Son Ltd is strengthening its East Midlands manufacturing base by investing in state-of-the-art processes at a cost of almost £400,000.
The Loughborough-based company, which is celebrating 155 years in business and employs 175 people, has received funding from Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) to safeguard manufacturing jobs in the region. To access the funding, Charles Bentley & Son has had to protect 10 jobs and create a further eight opportunities.
The bulk of the investment has funded the purchase of a fully automatic, CNC controlled brush making machine that can produce 1,200 brush tuffs per minute and will increase production capacity by almost one third.
Managing director Charles Bentley said: “The real advantage to this machine is that it can change between products very quickly, which will reduce manufacturing lead times from a full day to having a finished product in your hands within a couple of hours.”
He continued: “This investment marks a step change for the business. In our anniversary year, we are investing in a future that means we can compete with the best in Europe and also safeguards manufacturing jobs in the East Midlands.”
Formed in 1860, the company is still owned by the original Bentley family. It originally started out providing brushes for Victorian chimney sweeps and is now a multi-million pound operation, with specialisms in the equestrian, cleaning and household sector.