Surgical firm in clean break at pit

Matthew Tully
Matthew Tully
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A South Yorkshire pit where generations of men toiled in grime and grit is now home to a company that requires the most pristine of surroundings.

Single Use Surgical, which makes surgical instruments for hospitals around the world, has spent £400,000 on its new base at Park Springs Industrial Estate on the site of the former Grimethorpe Colliery.

Its new building, which is in the middle of the three former mine shafts, contains a ‘clean room’ which is kept as free from contamination as possible and is used to develop prototype products and for small scale manufacturing.

SUS specialises in single-use fine surgical suction tubes, but also sells more than 150 other different types of surgical instruments. The products are used by three-quarters of hospitals in the UK and exported to 20 countries.

SUS moved to the 10,000 square ft building after out-growing its previous premises in Wilthorpe, Barnsley. As well as the clean room, the building includes warehousing and offices.

Managing director Matthew Tully said: “The contrast of our work, where we are manufacturing precision products that have to be kept completely clean, and the old use of this site as the power house of heavy industry is quite stark.

“It shows the way industry is changing around here and part of that is the growth of the medical technology sector, of which we are at the forefront.

“But not only is the inside of the building very different from how the site would have been before the pit shut over 20 years ago, but we look out at wildlife from the windows rather than mine workings.”

SUS, which launched in 2001, has taken on three new staff with the move, bringing the total to 17.

It was backed by business support programme Enterprising Barnsley, who helped find the premises, helped SUS get a grant and business strategies and sales training.

“The advisers from Enterprising Barnsley have been helpful in working with us on our growth strategy and it seems to be working,” said Matthew.