Packaging firm doubles capacity

Packaging success: Howard Fearnley, centre, with Yorkshire Bank's Graham Ibbotson, left, and Richard Crossfield.
Packaging success: Howard Fearnley, centre, with Yorkshire Bank's Graham Ibbotson, left, and Richard Crossfield.
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A SOUTH Yorkshire packaging business is doubling its manufacturing capacity with the help of the Yorkshire Bank.

Barnsley-based PBS Packaging makes polythene bags for bakeries and fresh produce growers throughout the UK and continental Europe as well as companies supplying major supermarkets.

The Shortwood Industrial Estate company, started by Howard Fearnley in 2005 with two old bag- making machines, has grown to employ 30 staff and has sales of around £3 million.

Now, it is aiming to increase production from four to eight million units a week with the help of an initial £575,000 funding package, including invoice finance and foreign exchange facilities to cut currency exchange rate risks.

The funding, provided by Yorkshire Bank’s Growing Business initiative, will increase PBS’s cash flow, enable it to increase its manufacturing capacity and pay for a new salesperson.

Mr Fearnley said: “As the food sector continues to grow, our cost-effective prices are making us extremely attractive for large companies which need to cut costs while maintaining, or even improving, quality and so we wish to capitalise on this by increasing production.

“As part of this, we are investing in a new wicketed bag-making machine, which will be delivered in February next year and will help us achieve our production goals.

“We also have plans to buy a new printing press towards the end of 2013.”

Yorkshire Bank’s Graham Ibbotson said: “Food manufacturing and retailing has continued to expand during the recession despite rising prices.

“This is creating good growth opportunities for smart businesses and we are pleased to be supporting production expansion at PBS Packaging.”