A MANUFACTURER is celebrating a record-breaking £1m worth of new orders in just one week following a move to larger premises in Washington.
Fendor makes specialist glazing and blast-resistant glazing products in both aluminium and steel, and has an industry-leading reputation for technical excellence.
Formerly based in Gateshead, the company already has orders worth more than £2m on its books for 2012, and is aiming to increase its annual turnover by the end of the year from £6.4m to around £7.5m.
New jobs are being created as contracts are secured, and Fendor is looking to hire up to 10 members of staff by the end of the year to add to its 55-strong workforce.
Fendor received a £400,000 investment from NEL in 2006, to help support the management buy-out of the business, which was led by current managing director Chris Duffy, and to pay for the installation of new equipment.
To help fund its continuing expansion last year, Fendor received a £400,000 investment from the Finance for Business North East Growth Fund that NEL administers. This helped pay for specialist product development for the emerging petrochemical market.
Fendor is now looking for further funding from either SW Mitchell Capital or Lloyds TSB to support the firm in the second half of this year, after it spent more than £250,000 moving premises. Duffy said: “Over the last couple of years we have seen commercial glazing squeezed and as a company we boldly decided to invest a considerable sum of money in developing products for new markets including secure healthcare, custodial and blast-resistant glazing.
“Having outgrown our old premises, we were able to find our new factory with the help of Sunderland Council and it’s just as well as business is booming.”
The company, whose completed projects include King’s Cross Railway Station, the new Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane as well as local projects such as Gateshead Stadium and the attention-grabbing Redcar Pier, is keen to cement relationships with local main contractors.
“Fendor has become known as a specialist glazer that concentrates on larger, more prestigious projects,” said Duffy.
“We want to challenge that viewpoint. Now we have larger premises we are targeting standard commercial glazing in the North East as we believe we now have a unique offer to support local main contractors.
“Sadly a number of our competitors have gone to the wall in the last six to nine months, but we don’t want customers in the North East with standard glazing system requirements to forget we’re here.”
Fendor invested more than £200,000 in research and development during 2011.