North West textile manufacturer celebrates centenary with record turnover

North West textile manufacturer celebrates centenary with record turnover

47

A textile manufacturer based in Accrington has reached a £2 million turnover as it marks 100 years in business. Lantex produces a range of promotional products including tea towels, bags for life and cushion covers for customers including the British Museum and Chatsworth House.

Formerly known as Scapa Manufacturing and originally located in Haslingden, the company was formed by a small group of experienced textile manufacturers before Albert Henry Hardman (pictured), known as Mr. Harry, bought the majority shareholding in the company when he was just 21 years old in 1920, shortly after leaving the British Army.

Each week more than 12,000 promotional merchandise items are now produced, for online retailers, printers, promotion companies and restaurants.

Chairman, David Hardman, Mr Harry’s son, said: “Reaching £2 million of sales is a fantastic way to celebrate our centenary. One hundred years of history is something to be proud of, and we believe we have achieved this landmark by flexibility, assessing what the future holds and keeping costs low. We are specialists in this textile printing and promotional merchandise sectors and can turn bespoke orders around very quickly. We are also utterly committed to maintaining the balance of nature in all we do, with less than 1% of our raw materials wasted.

“We currently employ over 30 people including 14 machinists, and we’re looking to create eight more jobs over the next 2 years. We’re proud that 40 per cent of our workforce has been with us for over a decade.”

Managing Director John Parker who joined Lantex in 1982 said: “Our production facility is modern and flexible so we can make exactly what customers require. We work together at the design stage and we agree a delivery date. In the past decade we’ve invested £230,000 in training, new plant and machinery and £40,000 in R&D. The number of employees has increased fourfold over the last 12 years due to demand for more complex products and presentation.”

Modernisation of machinery, premises and facilities has been made possible through Government “pump-priming” grants over the last 10 years and Lantex is regarded as an excellent example of the modern textile industry.

The company has a strong environmental ethos spearheaded by David Hardman who has a personal and long-standing commitment to reducing the carbon footprint, slowing down climate change and using less fossil fuels. The factory has a solar panel system on the roof which enables it to generate a large proportion of its own electricity, with the excess feeding the National Grid. To add to the green credentials, 80% of the factory lighting is LED and the production rooms are lit by natural daylight.