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Council helps Telling Architectural grow

South Staffordshire District Council’s recent investment in buying and developing a 60,000 sq ft industrial unit within the Four Ashes Industrial Estate has resulted in a local company expanding its business and creating more jobs.

Telling Architectural, a specialist manufacturer of glass-reinforced concrete for building facade panels, moved into the new premises in July last year and is going from strength to strength.

The company makes architectural façade panels for many of the premier construction projects in London and Birmingham and is fast becoming one of the largest manufacturers of GRC in the UK. Jobs have increased by 50 per cent already.

Councillor Roy Wright, the council’s cabinet member for direct services, said: “Our investment has meant that Telling Architectural is flourishing and developing all the time. We’re proud to have played a part in their success and I would I like to stress that South Staffordshire is open for business so if there are any other companies who would like to settle in the area please come and talk to us.”

Leading property consultant Bulley’s Chartered Surveyors assisted the council in the acquisition of the vacant unit and in the negotiations for the new long term lease.

Mike Wood, director at Telling Architectural. said: “The new facility is absolutely first class. The local authority having the confidence to support a relatively small company that was turning over just under £6 million has made a huge difference to us. It’s a great location and having this building means that Telling Architectural has the necessary space it needs to expand and potentially triple its production as well as increase its 60-strong workforce to 90 people over the next three years.

“In terms of employment, we feel we’re quite blessed with Wolverhampton. Getting the right skills is the important thing and at Telling Architectural we do our own design and prefabrication drawings.

“We have nine draughtsmen, all local people, who’ve joined us and we’ve also recruited a number of youngsters from the architectural courses at the University of Wolverhampton.

“The GRC industry is really expanding and we’re aiming to be number one. We had rented a smaller industrial unit at Four Ashes Industrial Estate for a number of years but due to increasing sales and new product lines, we needed space to expand and started to look for larger premises. The Four Ashes industrial estate has great transport links and we wanted to remain in the area and stay in South Staffordshire. This building came up at exactly the right time. Without the help of the council and Bulley’s, we would have had to rent three small units instead and it wouldn’t have been the same. Having this space makes us hugely more efficient and productivity is so much better. We’ve moved from a unit where we could make 40 sq metres of concrete a day to one where we can make upwards of 70 sq metres. A huge improvement.”

Bulley’s partner, Steve Perriton, commented, “We are delighted to have assisted in bringing together a local manufacturing company with South Staffordshire Council. It’s refreshing that a Council is willing and able to invest in an opportunity that has enabled Telling Architectural Ltd to continue to expand and grow their local skilled workforce on the popular Four Ashes Industrial Estate. The investment and technical innovation that Mike Wood and his team are putting into their GRC products is very exciting and is clearly paying dividends for the South Staffordshire based company.”