ROTHERHAM ROARS: Why my start-up had to be in borough

Anthony Joyce at Wolf Components, Waddington Way, Rotherham.  Picture: Chris Etchells
Anthony Joyce at Wolf Components, Waddington Way, Rotherham. Picture: Chris Etchells
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“It is reassuring that McLaren is in Rotherham - I imagine they spent a lot of money investigating where they need to place their business.”

Anthony Joyce, boss of fast-growing manufacturing start-up Wolf Components, is explaining why he chose the borough.

It has a “very good” workforce with engineering and technical skills, it is in the middle of the country with easy access to the M1 and M18 and a strong industrial base that can supply components and services, such as fork lift trucks.

McLaren’s decision to set up in Rotherham gave him further confidence it was the right decision, he added.

This story features in Rotherham Roars, The Star’s celebration of the borough’s booming economy, published Wednesday March 28.

ROTHERHAM ROARS IS ONLINE HERE

Josh Morgan at work at Wolf Components, Waddington Way, Rotherham. Pictured. Picture: Chris Etchells

Josh Morgan at work at Wolf Components, Waddington Way, Rotherham. Pictured. Picture: Chris Etchells

Wolf Components, based on Aldwarke Wharf Business Park is a hi-tech manufacturer of bedsprings. It has invested millions in the latest machines.

Mr Joyce is a former managing director for bedding giant Steinhoff International.

He said: “I have a history of working in the borough and an understanding of our sector - but McLaren’s research will have been comprehensive. That they chose Rotherham too is reassuring.”

Business partner Stephen Baul is a former executive at US manufacturer, Legett & Platt. The duo set up Wolf in 2017 after spotting a gap in the market for products made in the UK. Now they are planning to go from one shift to three, working 24 hours-a-day.

Chris Pearce at Wolf Components. Picture: Chris Etchells

Chris Pearce at Wolf Components. Picture: Chris Etchells

The firm employs 26, has spent £2m on machinery and plans more investment by June, which is set to add up to 13 jobs.

Mr Joyce added: “Our operators need a good level of technical expertise. I’ve spent a lot of time in South Yorkshire and I know the workforce has strength in depth. We offer just-in-time services which help our customers reduce their stockholding, saving them money.

“Dealing with the council has not been difficult and we are very lucky to be in a new building with a good landlord.”

British-made products offer shorter lead times than the big bedspring suppliers in Turkey and Asia. They will also help customers manage the uncertainty of Brexit, he added. Wolf Components’ first major contract was with Belgian firm Latexco which is expanding its range into springs.

Lin Shanzhou and Ashley Cadmen checking springs.

Lin Shanzhou and Ashley Cadmen checking springs.

Mr Joyce added: “Having known Luc Maes, owner of Latexco, for close to 25 years, it was a wonderful opportunity to work together.”

Wolf has taken a 10-year lease on a building constructed by developer and landlord Waddington.

Tenants on Aldwarke Business Park on Waddington Way include Endeavour Forklift Trucks and Watts Engineering Services.

This story features in Rotherham Roars, The Star’s celebration of the borough’s booming economy, published Wednesday March 28.

ROTHERHAM ROARS IS ONLINE HERE

Rotherham Roars supplement. Wolf Components, Waddington Way, Rotherham. Pictured is Anthony Joyce. Picture: Chris Etchells

Rotherham Roars supplement. Wolf Components, Waddington Way, Rotherham. Pictured is Anthony Joyce. Picture: Chris Etchells