Commercial Property: 'Green' Policy Is Just the Ticket for Bus-Seat Firm
Williams, Phililp, The Birmingham Post (England)
A Black Country firm that makes seats for buses has left its competitors standing.
In the past five years, Scandus Design has been expanding on the Pensnett Estate, near Dudley.
It has now leased an additional 10,167 sq ft from estate owners London and Cambridge Properties, taking its total space to 20,802 sq ft.
The expansion coincides with the company's 20th anniversary, which bosses plan to celebrate throughout the year.
Scandus originally set up on Second Avenue on the estate in 1979. But its aspirations received a major setback in 1988 when a fire ripped through the premises and forced the company to take up temporary accommodation nearby.
At the start of the 90s, the company moved to newly refurbished premises and further expansion followed with the latest move resulting in it taking yet more space.
Mr Mike Stellas, the company's managing director, said estimated turnover for the year was pounds 6.5 million - up pounds 1.2 million on last year.
The company now says it is the UK's leading bus seating manufacturer.
Mr Stellas puts burgeoning expansion down to the new Government's "green" policy to invest in public transport, which has seen sales rocket.
"An upturn in sales has left us much busier. It got to the point where we were almost tripping over one another," he said.
"We wanted to be able to manufacture more effectively and we wanted to create more space for our employees, so we seized the opportunity to expand."
Mr Stellas also has claims to be a product of the firm's growth. He started with Scandus back in 1981 as an engineer and stayed until 1988 before leaving to take up another job. He returned in 1990 and was gradually promoted to managing director when chairman Mr John Griffiths stepped down from the role. …