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Cheadle company opens its new £1 million factory expansion

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: July 05, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

  • The infra assembly room

  • Chris Patton in the mixing area.

  • Mike Booth and Chris Shepherd in the press shop.

  • The front of the Vulcan factory.

  • Pictured with the RoSPA Gold award are, back row from left, Nigel Wood, (senior supervisor) Lee Ratcliffe, (process operator – refractories) Ian Mycock (health and safety adviser), Laura Plant (payroll/office co-ordinator) and Shane Bratt (refractories supervisor). Front Row, from left, are Andy Hammonds, (production manager), Marie Clarke (company secretary) and Lisa Titterton, (process operator – Infra Red)

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A firm which specialises in the manufacture of refractory high temperature ceramics has completed a £1 million expansion and refurbishment programme at its factory.

Vulcan Refractories Ltd, based on the Brookhouses Industrial Estate, Cheadle, has completed the major investment work in just nine months.

It comes as the firm celebrates winning a national health and safety award.

The company, which was founded in 1969, supplies many industries worldwide, with exports accounting for around 70 per cent of the business.

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The factory employs 35 staff, with 80 per cent coming from within a 15-mile radius. T

Bosses are now looking to grow the business more over the next few years in its modern premises.

Managing director Gary Dukes said: "We are now getting into full production after the £1 million investment.

"We have more space, which has made us more efficient and productive. We are now in a position for further growth.

"The company employs local people from across the Moorlands.

"It is very important to have the right workforce as they make the company.

"Following production improvements we are now in a position to further expand the business."

The company was among the winners in the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2014, netting a top award for its performance

The business won a Gold Award in the prestigious annual scheme run by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), which was presented during a ceremony at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, at the National Exhibition Centre, last month.

Vulcan's health and safety consultant Ian Mycock, who is a former Cauldon orks manager and National Safety Manager at Lafarge Cement, said: "This award recognises all the hard work and effort every single team member here has put in to take care of each other, and to ensure that we all go home to our families safe every single day."

Mr Dukes added: "As a small business, we are immensely proud to achieve the RoSPA Gold Award. It is a superb tribute to the hard work and commitment of our entire workforce in striving to achieve the highest of safety standards.

"This builds on our success last year both at RoSPA,where we were awarded the Silver standard, and in winning a second British Ceramic Confederation Safety Showcase Award. We will continue relentlessly in our quest to eliminate harm and achieve a world class standard in health and safety."

David Rawlins, RoSPA's awards manager, said: "Organisations that gain recognition, such as Vulcan Refractories Limited, contribute to the raising of the bar for other organisations to aspire to. We offer them our congratulations."

The company has also just featured in a four-page article in the Global HSE magazine, which highlights the firm's history and how safety is the core object for the factory.

Mr Mycock said: "Part of my role as a consultant is to advise and guide companies to improve processes, including health and safety, which I firmly believe is a crucial element for sustainable business performance.

"Here at Vulcan we are seeing a small business being recognised in the global arena, which is fantastic news for the company, its employees and the Staffordshire Moorlands."

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