Bike wear company Polaris Apparel is freewheeling to success after getting a push from Yorkshire Bank.
The Dronfield firm boosted sales by 50 per cent after moving into a £1.1m, purpose-built, 25,000 sq ft headquarters at VeloCity Point, on Wreakes Lane, with help from the bank’s South Yorkshire Financial Solutions Centre.
Now it has notched up sales totaling £50,000 for a new flight case for bicycles, which meets major airline baggage-handling restrictions and is made in the UK from recycled plastic.
Managing director Roger Dillon, aged 52, says: “Sales in 2010 showed our biggest increase ever and we plan further expansion in the UK and abroad this year.
“The flight case, our first non-textile product and the first item we have had manufactured in the UK, shows that we can be successful and profitable with British-manufactured products.
“Two key factors are helping our business. Fuel price increases are encouraging more people to cycle to work and we expect this to continue with record high petrol prices and a further fuel duty increase forecast for April. Also health concerns are encouraging more people to cycle to keep fit.
“The flexibility of Yorkshire Bank’s funding is the major help in our quest for growth.”
Mr Dillon, who is also Polaris’ founder, says that although the current economic climate is not easy, there is still plenty of business around.
He said to win it a company had to have confidence that it was being supported and Yorkshire Bank had inspired that confidence.
Polaris Apparel started as a one-man, part-time business 20 years ago and now has 15 staff and a £2 million turnover.
The company sources specialist clothing for urban, mountain and road cyclists, including jackets, trousers, headgear and gloves.
It supplies through independent retailers throughout the UK as well as exporting to South Korea, South Africa, Australia and Ireland.