Painting a brighter future for industry

HMG's Warehouse

The iconic green livery on Austin Martin’s sleek GTE car unveiled at this year’s prestigious Geneva motor show was created in Manchester by the UK’s largest independent paint manufacturer.

It is set to wow the crowds at Le Mans, one of the great racing events of the year, and the team at HMG Paints operation in Collyhurst will be cheering the motorsport team right to the chequered flag.

The family firm is the UK’s largest independent paint manufacturer and Austin Martin is just one of its many clients.

The HMG team offers innovative and compliant paints and powder coatings to a variety of sectors, from specialist industrial and aerospace to transport and heritage projects.

HMG manufactures more than three million litres of paint a year and has more than 200,000 colours in its library and archive.

New technology and systems has allowed the business to develop the largest colour database in the UK, which is available to all its customers.

On its website HMG proudly proclaims: “Whether our paint is used on a car or coach, an aircraft or a boat, a kitchen door or a doll’s house, to us it is above all ‘our paint’ and we are exceptionally proud of it.”

Managing director John Falder is grandson of the company’s founder. He has been appointed to Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham’s Business Advisory Panel.

And he is a champion of skills and training, including new T Levels, courses, which will be on a par with A Levels and will provide young people with a choice between technical and academic education post-16.

Falder says: “On the whole, employers tend to be far too quick to dismiss young people as not having the right behaviours and skills to enter the workplace.

“But, if implemented and used in the right way, T Levels present a huge opportunity to bridge that gap, helping both develop and support the next generation workforce and provide employers with a stream of work-ready young people.”

Most of HMG’s production team are trained in-house. It is working with a number of local education establishments and industry partners such as the British Coatings Federation to develop programmes that equip people with the right skills.

The business says there is a skills shortage in technical areas – possibly because the paint industry is not seen as “glamorous”.

HMG has invested more than £10,000 in a sales training course to develop its young people. The aim is for the initiative to pay for itself with increased turnover from dormant and underperforming accounts.

A number of staff are also undertaking degree level technical training and will be mentored along the way by the experienced team already in place.

HMG is also building partnerships with raw materials companies and is developing innovative products such as graphene containing topcoats.

John Falder

Tests have focused on its application in both the commercial vehicle and construction equipment markets in partnership with a leading UK bespoke body builder.

And the company has also used all its 88 years of experience in the paint industry to launch a specialist range of decorative coatings, including a new colour collection.

Paddy Dyson, marketing manager, says: “With a focus on quality and not cost savings, we’ve been able to utilise the latest technology and quality pigments, to create a range that provides professionals with a premium quality product.”

The durable water-based coatings have been developed over a number of years and have undergone extensive trials and testing.

The range has been specified on large scale projects, such as the renovation of Manchester Central Library, and heritage projects such as Grade II listed buildings.