West Craven firm in multi-million pound deal with Silentnight

SPRING DEAL: Emyr Williams (left) of Liberty Properties and L&P MD Anthony Joyce are excited about expansion plans.
SPRING DEAL: Emyr Williams (left) of Liberty Properties and L&P MD Anthony Joyce are excited about expansion plans.

WEST Craven bed springs manufacturer Leggett and Platt has announced an exclusive multi-million pound deal with Silentnight.

Bosses at the Barnoldswick firm said the agreement will kick-start an expansion, which will hopefully lead to more jobs being created.

The new agreement is for the supply of pocket springs to Silentnight and its sister company Sealy, in Cumbria.

L&P will supply pocket spring units to the beds giant on a just-in-time basis from a new purpose built state of the art warehouse, which it is planning to build on its present site in Barnoldswick.

Managing director Anthony Joyce said: “We had to beat stiff competition for the contract, including bids from German, Turkish and Chinese companies. But what we have achieved is a major step forward and is a vote of confidence in UK manufacturing and principally our continued presence in Barnoldswick.

“We are hopeful we will be able to continue our expansion plans in Barnoldswick and develop the current site to meet the demand requirements of Silentnight.

“Securing investment in the current economic climate is not easy.”

Mr Joyce said the investment, which included spending around £2m. on machinery and equipment from Silentnight’s closing Batley plant, showed a long-term commitment to West Craven. And with the deal secure, Mr Joyce said the next stage of developing the company relies very much on the regeneration of the site, including the plan by Liberty Properties to build a Tesco store on redundant land.

He said: “We will need to spend £2m. on this site to bring it into line with modern requirements and build a state of the art warehouse distribution centre. It would be a major setback if the application was refused.”

Proposals to build a new food superstore on part of the L&P Springs land off Skipton Road have been submitted to Pendle Council, and a committee meeting is set to be held soon for a decision to be made.

Working closely with L&P Springs, Liberty Properties consultant Simon Hoare said: “The Tesco application is very important. It brings a national company into the area and creates 175 new jobs, as well as the retention of existing jobs that could have been lost abroad.

“It is entirely legitimate to include any knock-on economic and regeneration benefits that come to the town when considering the application. At the moment, 80% of the retail spend of customers living in Barnoldswick goes outside the town. With a store on the doorstep, there is greater potential for link trips, and it is a very good opportunity to claw back that trade.”