Manufacturer invests in new site to meet demand

An Oldbury manufacturer has invested in a new site with a £1.7m loan from Lloyds Bank as it looks to meet growing demand for its products.

Stephens Gaskets, which has been making precision components for the automotive industry since 1947, has acquired a 62,000 sq ft site, three times larger than its existing premises.

The move means the firm will boost output by as much as 50%.

Stephens Gaskets has seen its turnover increase by 20% during the past 12 months and its workforce has increased significantly.

The firm also temporarily shifted its operations to support national efforts to produce PPE for frontline workers during the coronavirus outbreak.

Over the years the family-owned business has diversified into new services and sectors, including lighting and construction.

Piers Baynton, manager at Stephens Gaskets, said: “We saw demand shoot up last year and it quickly became apparent we would need to relocate somewhere bigger if we wanted to keep growing our business. The Lloyds team has been a constant source of support along the way and we’re delighted with the help they’ve offered us to get this over the line.

“We are proud to be a family business that has been passed down through three generations and the Lloyds Bank team has helped us to maintain our family values while supporting our growth. We’ve no doubt that our partnership will continue as we take this exciting new step in our journey.”

Mark Corfield, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “Stephens Gaskets has enjoyed growth during an uncertain time and this looks set to continue. We’re looking forward to helping them take the next step in their journey as they move into their new premises and look for new opportunities to expand.

“The West Midlands remains the country’s manufacturing heartland and it’s fantastic to see another homegrown firm enjoy such success.”