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Trade minister visits Cheddleton firm

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: February 03, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

  • Lord Livingston (left) and chairman Geoffrey Ball discuss various products.

  • Lord Livingston, left, and chairman Geoffrey Ball discuss various products.

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A NEWLY appointed Minister for Trade and Investment, Lord Livingston, has visited the Staffordshire Moorlands where he toured the Cheddleton-based flooring adhesives and preparation products manufacturer, F Ball and Co. Ltd.

The visit was part of a wider tour of companies and business organisations in Staffordshire and the Midlands region being undertaken by the minister to learn what successful manufacturing businesses are doing that will aid Britain's recovery from the recession, particularly in relation to export markets.

Lord Livingston also used the visit to learn what assistance the Government can provide to help businesses in the region play their part in driving the economic recovery.

Founded in 1886, F Ball and Co Ltd is the UK's leading manufacturer of flooring adhesives and floor preparation products for the contract flooring industry.

During the last year the company's export turnover was up by 15 per cent compared to 2012.

The Cheddleton company was selected for the visit because of its standing as a major employer in the area, as well as its close ties with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce, both of which it has worked with over the years, especially in relation to exports and UK manufacturing. The firm has been active in overseas markets for a number of years, both in Europe and throughout the rest of the world, operating an office in Singapore to serve the Far East market and, more recently, employing a representative in The Netherlands to develop business in the Benelux countries.

At the same time, the company has set up a distribution agreement with a major UK-based distributor, who has a large distribution network serving the Benelux region.

James Igoe, managing director of F Ball and Co. Ltd., said: "It was good to be able to welcome Lord Livingston to F Ball on what was his first company visit as a minister, and great to see him getting out to the regions and showing his support for UK manufacturing.

"We are also pleased to have had the opportunity to show him the work we're doing to develop overseas markets, based on the solid foundation we've built in the UK over 127 years of trading."

Commenting on his visit Lord Livingston said: "I'm really impressed with F Ball and the innovation of the company in developing world leading products.

"It's fantastic to see their iconic yellow buckets being exported across Europe, helping the UK economy. I'm delighted to have been invited and wish the company every success for the future."

The Cheddleton based company's sales and marketing team has just returned from successfully exhibiting at Europe's foremost flooring exhibition, Domotex in Hannover, which is attended by buyers from across Europe and beyond.

The team is already preparing for the company's next exhibition at the main Dutch flooring show in April.

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