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Manufacturer taps into growth programme

Oxford Innovation business coach Gill Hall pictured with Aartoft managing director Niels Sandahl at the Lynemouth's firm's manufacturing site.

Oxford Innovation business coach Gill Hall pictured with Aartoft managing director Niels Sandahl at the Lynemouth's firm's manufacturing site.

A pre-fabricated bathroom manufacturer is targeting an emerging UK market after becoming the latest Northumberland firm to receive specialist business coaching.

The Business Northumberland High Growth Programme is being delivered by Oxford Innovation, which is available to support the expansion plans of eligible companies across the county.

Aartoft managing director Niels Sandahl turned to Oxford Innovation to provide a route to the UK market for his bathroom pods.

“Our concept has been a feature of the Scandinavian construction industry for many years but we have recently seen an increase in UK demand due to the flexibility and durability of our pre-fabricated bathroom pods,” he said.

“For Aartoft to become the supplier of choice in this country, I knew we needed a permanent manufacturing facility here and a very specific UK marketing strategy.

“In 2013 we started production at our site in Ashington, and having worked with Oxford Innovation I am confident we are now well-placed to achieve growth in the UK.”

Niels estimates demand for around 2,000 lightweight concrete pods per year in the UK, with the majority coming from developers of social housing, hotels and other multiple-occupancy buildings.

“To date, this demand has been met by imports from manufacturers based in mainland Europe.

Oxford Innovation business coach Gill Hall added: “This was a fascinating assignment as Niels was looking to make the transition from well-established exporter to the leading supplier in an emerging UK market.”

From its base on the site of the former Rio Tinto Alcan smelter in Lynemouth, Aartoft currently employs 25 people.

But Niels believes he can double the workforce if the business reaches its full growth potential.

For more details call (01670) 528403 or visit www.businessnorthumberland.co.uk

 

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