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Durham law firm assists leading automotive supplier with next phase in development


Jun 7, 2019 ##durham, #Law

With business continuing to go from strength to strength, one of the region’s leading suppliers to the automotive plastic and electronics industries has signed a further lease on a factory at Castleside Industrial Estate, Consett, as it seeks to consolidate its business operations.

Labone Castleside was assisted in this latest phase of its expansion by Gillian Moir, managing associate in the real estate team of leading Durham City law firm, Swinburne Maddison LLP (Swinburne Maddison).

With the additional lease for Factory 2, which provides a further 13,500 sq ft of space, Labone Castleside now occupies three units on the Castleside Industrial Estate, which collectively, provide over 89,000 sq ft for the further development of its plastic injection mouldings and assembly business.

Currently employing just under 200 people, Labone Castleside Ltd, which is owned by parent company R A Labone & Co of Ilkeston, is part of a diverse group of specialised manufacturing companies forming a global supply chain for major brands such as Daimler, Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover, Peugeot, BMW and Honda.

With turnover around £18m and plans to hit £21m by 2020, the ability to operate more efficiently from manufacturing sites in close proximity will move the company closer to achieving this goal, as Dawn Whittle, managing director of Labone Castleside explains:

“As demand for our services from current and new customers continued to grow, together with the capacity constraints we were facing, it became clear we needed more space, so with the support of the board further investment was approved to take up an additional lease for Factory 2, where we are occupying part of the old Grorud facility through Prospect Estates Limited.

“The global markets have played a part in all business sectors and continue to do so.  As a business, we must closely monitor the impact of fluctuating sales because this affects our Just in Time (JIT) supply so it is very important that we have a flexible and supportive workforce to support the needs of the business and changes in customer demand. With more space at our disposal, we plan to increase the workforce by a further 24 people over the coming months.

“We are pleased to have developed such a sound working relationship with Swinburne Maddison. Its real estate team have taken an active interest in our business and now possess a clear understanding of our culture and our goals.  They work very efficiently on our behalf and we can always rely on them to give us solid advice.”

Commenting on this recent transaction, Mrs Moir said:  “I was pleased to be invited by Labone to  visit the facilities last year to discuss the company’s future plans. We are delighted to be able to support such a dynamic company at this exciting stage in its development.  The additional space will allow Labone to continue with its ongoing expansion and create more jobs, making a massive contribution to the local economy.

“We have a wealth of experience when dealing with this kind of property transaction and pride ourselves on providing clients with the most appropriate advice to agree lease provisions which best suit their business needs. We look forward to playing a continuing role in Labone’s future success.”