One of the region’s most well-known businessmen held an open morning on Friday 20th July in Denby, providing a rare insight into how he’s built two of the most successful manufacturing companies in Derbyshire.
Roger Hartshorn, Group CEO of HL Plastics, addressed an audience of councillors, local business contacts, banks, educational institutes and the Chamber of Commerce, to explain the history of the award-winning company – as well as revealing his exciting new plans for the region.
Roger’s story is an inspirational one. He began his career as an apprentice toolmaker at HL Plastics in 1977 and 11 years later led a management buyout with his partner, Mike Bosworth. They added Tarpey Harris Precision Toolmakers to the group a year later.
The Eurocell brand name was created in 1991, followed by the launch of its first uPVC window system three years later. The success of Eurocell persuaded the Tessenderlo Group to acquire total ownership of the group in 2003 – and the current CEO Mark Kelly explained how the company has grown since then.
Hartshorn wasn’t resting on his laurels during that time however – after a short break, he and Mike formed Flamstead Holdings and bought back HL Plastics and Tarpey Harris, launching the innovative Liniar uPVC window system in 2008 and taking the fenestration industry by storm.
Since then, the Liniar brand has continued to go from strength to strength, with the impressive showroom full of products open on the day. The company won a Queen’s Award for Innovation last year for its ModLok™ bi-folding doors, one of just 66 companies nationwide to achieve such an accolade.
In June 2015, HL Plastics was sold to Quanex, a building materials supplier listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
The success story demonstrated that from the original company, there are now more than 2,000 people employed in total by HL Plastics, Tarpey Harris and Eurocell combined – and unlike other manufacturing companies in the region, both CEOs are still actively recruiting due to continued growth.
Roger recently announced that he’ll be handing over the reins at HL Plastics later this year, and took the opportunity at the open morning to explain the future plans for the company, the site and some exciting opportunities for local businesses.
“The success of HL Plastics and Tarpey Harris since moving to the Denby Hall site 12 years ago has been amazing,” commented Roger. “This company makes a huge contribution to the local economy and we’re all justifiably proud of that fact!”
One of Roger’s other business concerns is development company Garner Holdings, which apart from owning Tarpey Harris develops and rents out industrial buildings. Garner has just announced its commitment to provide a new 110,000 ft2 high bay, fully automated warehouse and a further 10,000 ft2 of offices at Denby Hall Business Park, for an as yet un-named local company.
Garner Holdings has also formed a new sister company, Garner Aluminium Extrusions Ltd, investing in a £7m press line to enter the aluminium extrusion market.
The operation will be based in Heage in the short term, with plans to build a purpose-built extrusion facility to expand into. The conservative aim is to create 50 jobs over the next 18 months, rising to 150 within three years – and this in itself will create more employment opportunities upstream in services required by the business.
Roger concludes, “I’ve always been a big believer in keeping things local wherever possible – we use local suppliers, employ local people and boost the local economy as a result.”
HL Plastics offers employment opportunities in extrusion, warehousing, driving, quality and a variety of office-based roles.