15 June 2024, 08:01
By Furniture News May 29, 2024

Bedding group begins work on significant factory extension

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

The group’s existing factory at Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire, which currently produces up to 3000 mattresses, toppers and sleeping bags every week, will increase in size by 16,000 sqft over two floors.

The capital project represents a £1.2m investment for the sleep innovator, a BBC Dragons’ Den success story.

“Having secured the appropriate planning permissions, I am delighted to confirm that our new factory extension has officially started,” says Thomas Colleran, commercial director at Raskelf Group.

“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 sqft factory, with an additional 12,000 sqft 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.

“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,” reveals Thomas. “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 have been contracted by the group. It boasts more than 100 years’ experience of construction in Yorkshire – including building a 20,000 sqft manufacturing unit for Firth Steels.

“We are confident that our build is in safe, experienced hands,” says Raskelf Group's FD 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 its manufacturing capacity is the latest development for Raskelf 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.

“From pitching to the ‘Dragons’ to growing our high-end mattress brand in Asia, we have never been afraid of making bold decisions,” adds William. “Increasing our output by nearly one-third with this seven-figure investment is another big step, but one we are confident will pay off.”

The new factory extension is predicted to be completed in October.

Pictured: Raskelf Group founders Alan and Elizabeth Colleran on site at Heckmondwike


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