Manufacturer poised for capacity boost thanks to £1.2m factory expansion

Work on a factory extension, which is predicted to increase Raskelf Group’s manufacturing capacity by 30%, is now under way. 

The group’s existing factory in Heckmondwike, which currently produces up to 3,000 mattresses, toppers and sleeping bags every week, will increase in size by 16,000 sq ft over two floors.  

The capital project represents a £1.2m investment for the company, which is a BBC Dragons’ Den success story.

Thomas Colleran, commercial director, said: “Having secured the appropriate planning permissions, I am happy to confirm that our new factory extension has officially started.

“We have planned the works carefully to cause minimum disruption to our normal operations, and our hope is that construction will be complete by October this year.”

Purchased in 2019, the four-acre site currently consists of a 28,000 sq ft factory, with an additional 12,000 sq ft office and showroom block.

The original factory was fully renovated when it was bought by the group. However, due to significant growth in business, an extension is now required to take operations to the next level. 

Colleran added: “As the extension nears completion, our plan is to invest in new machinery; to introduce new processes; and to add in extra product lines with the aim of becoming as vertically integrated as possible.

“All of this will require more labour – especially increasing our foam conversion capacity, so there will be new employment opportunities for skilled operatives later this year.”

Huddersfield-based firm Radcliffe Construction has been contracted by the group.

“We are confident that our build is in safe, experienced hands,” said Raskelf group finance director William Colleran who, together with his brother Thomas, is overseeing the project. 

“Keeping investment in Yorkshire, wherever possible, sits well with our values, and we are proud to be contributing to the local economy with this particular purchasing decision.

“It is through sound financial management that Raskelf Group can go ahead with this extension, which will enhance the strong, stable manufacturing site we have nurtured at Heckmondwike these past five years.”

Increasing manufacturing capacity is the latest development for the group, which revealed in March that it had consolidated its various business interests – including the Duvalay brand – under an umbrella organisation.

There are no plans to relocate its cot mattress manufacturing division, Nursery Connections, from its base in Corby, Northamptonshire. 

William Colleran said: “From pitching to the Dragons, to growing our high-end mattress brand in Asia, we have never been afraid of making bold decisions.

“Increasing our output by nearly one-third with this seven-figure investment is another big step, but one we are confident will pay off.”