Grant pumps up expansion at pneumatics and compressed air firm

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Pneumatics and compressed air distribution company, Thorite, has secured a business development grant thanks to help from Bradford Council’s Invest In Bradford Team and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The LEP and authority’s businesses development officers helped Thorite clinch a £100,000 grant from the LEP to invest in the firm’s new 40,000 square foot site on Hillam Road, off Canal Road in Bradford.

The grant will help the company expand and centralise its Bradford operation, bringing its sales and service centre, aftermarket support, systems design, training academy, and national distribution centre all under one roof.

LEP and Bradford Council business advisors guided Thorite managers through an application which was approved by the LEP in April.

Thorite’s new central Bradford site more than doubles the size of the older facility in Laisterdyke.

It is expected to bring greater integration, coordination and productivity to the firm, allowing it to further develop and nurture key customer relationships and new product development.

The facility will feature a sales and service centre showroom and trade counter built alongside a new product showcase area to promote Thorite’s extensive product range.

Last year, Thorite turned over almost £20m and its latest move will give the firm a strong strategic base to achieve ambitious growth plans.

A family-owned business since its foundation in 1850, Thorite has grown to become the UK’s largest distributor of pneumatic and compressed air products and process systems.

It has a regional network of sales and service centres in Blackburn, Bolton, Bristol, Doncaster, Huddersfield, Leeds, Rochdale, Sheffield, North Shields, and the West Midlands.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council and chairman of West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: “Firms like Thorite are vital to the Bradford district and regional economy and we are delighted to be able to assist them with this important grant which will boost their productivity, support growth and create jobs.

“Increasing productivity is an important driver in developing a strong, socially inclusive economy that works for everyone.”

Thorite managing director, Stephen Wright, said: “We’re now in a position to move ahead with this exciting new chapter in Thorite’s future.

“The new building will provide us with room to expand and support our plans to grow Thorite to be a truly national company, headquartered in Bradford and we expect to move in by January 2021.”

Roger Marsh, chairman of the LEP and NP11 said: “Boosting productivity remains a priority for the LEP and I’m delighted we have been able to support businesses across the region.

“A key part of the Local Industrial Strategy is to close the productivity gap with the rest of the UK; doing so would mean more better-paid jobs, improved living standards and could add £11 billion to the region’s economy.”