As business growth continues apace, one of the region’s leading suppliers to the automotive plastic and electronics industries has announced further expansion by signing a lease on additional premises.

Adding considerably to its present facility on the Castleside Industrial Estate, Consett-based Labone Castleside Ltd, (Labone Castleside), which is owned by parent company R A Labone and Co., has recently signed a six-year lease to occupy Unit 20, Number One Industrial Estate, Consett.

Currently employing approximately 202 people, Labone Castleside is a key supplier to tier one automotive customers within plastic injection moulding and assemblies, providing high quality cost-effective tooling design within a logistical ‘just-in-time’ environment.

This latest move which, in part, is due to an increase in demand for its services from car makers Jaguar, Land Rover and Nissan, forms part of the manufacturer’s strategic expansion plans as it seeks to increase annual turnover from its present level of £14.8 million to £18 million by 2019.

To assist with this part of its plans, Labone Castleside appointed law firm, Swinburne Maddison LLP (Swinburne Maddison) to provide legal advice.

During the process, Gillian Moir and Rachel Fletcher, solicitors from within Swinburne Maddison’s commercial property team undertook detailed negotiations with both the building’s owner, Northern Trust Company Ltd, and utilities company Northern Powergrid to draw up a lease agreement to meet Labone Castleside’s specific needs including rent concessions and break clauses.

Speaking about this exciting phase of developments, the company’s managing director Dawn Whittle said: “Noted for our commitment to innovation and creating competitively priced precision components, the company has grown significantly over the past 10 years.  We have worked hard towards achieving our strategic goals which has allowed us to concentrate on certain market sectors and forging strong relationships with customers and our supply chain.

“During 2016, we re-invested heavily into new machine and ancillary equipment and have plans to invest a further £750K this year to support our growth strategy. When considering how best to take the company to its next level, it became clear it was more beneficial to add further manufacturing space to our existing facility and signing up to Unit 20 allows us to do this.

“With little experience of commercial property matters we sought advice from Swinburne Maddison’s commercial property team who, along with the team from property agents Whittle Jones, provided us with an excellent and efficient service. “

Whilst much of the space at Unit 20 will be used for manufacturing, it will also provide office accommodation for quality assurance and production training.

Commenting on the deal, Simon Robinson, partner at Swinburne Maddison said:

“We are pleased to have been able to play such a key role in supporting Dawn and her team as Labone Castleside continues to go from strength to strength. We have a wealth of experience when it comes to dealing with this type of commercial property transaction.  As such, we are well placed to provide clients with the most appropriate advice and to negotiate on their behalf to agree lease provisions which best suit their business needs.

“In this instance, we have liaised closely with the Northern Powergrid over the installation of a larger electricity cable to the premises which was essential to facilitate Labone’s increased demands for production capacity.  We also documented a rent concession pending the installation of an electricity substation at the property within the next three years.”

Over the near future Labone Castleside will continue to focus on product launches and investing in technology as well as its people. Manufacturing operations are expected to commence at Unit 20, in May 2017.