The Rt. Hon. Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales, will signal the end of a turbulent year for Mid-Wales business Stagecraft when he opens their new factory in Newtown on Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 12 months to the day that Stagecraft’s former factory burnt to the ground.
From the disaster which beset Stagecraft, the company has made a remarkable recovery. The new facility on the Vastre Enterprise Park is double the size of their previous factory, which has allowed them to make significant progress in 2014. They recently secured their largest order from grocery chain Waitrose, have increased staff numbers and look set for their best year’s trading.
Set up some 30 years ago, Stagecraft is now the UK market leader in the supply and fit-out of display equipment to garden centres, merchandisers, and farm shops, as well as breaking through into the high street retail sector. The company was founded by Radnorshire farmer Tom Davis as he sought to earn extra income to educate his children. Tom has recently taken over the chairman’s role, following the appointment of Seb Smith as managing director. He has a strong background in retail and display.
The move to larger premises has enabled Stagecraft to react positively to significant changes within their sector, particularly garden centres.
Seb Smith said: “There has been a considerable amount of consolidation within the garden centre sector, with larger and larger companies being formed through acquisition and merger. Our move now to a much larger factory signals our intent to service the significant changes now happening within the industry, where we are likely to have to manufacture our products in greater volumes.”
First Minister, Carwyn Jones, said: “I’m delighted to be able to officially open Stagecraft’s new premises, and mark an exciting new chapter for the company. This major expansion programme will allow the company to capitalise on further opportunities in the industry, and is also a significant boost to the local economy. We will continue to offer advice and support as it develops and I wish the team every success in the future.”
While the fire destroyed all work-in-progress and machinery, vital design drawings, orders, customer databases were backed-up to an offsite location and with the help of local suppliers Stagecraft was able to recommence limited production within days of the disaster.