old

North Wales upholstery firm Westbridge hopes to have created another 150 jobs by the end of this year as a result of its new factory and contract to supply IKEA.


It says its third factory — a Deeside plant spanning around 140,000sqft — has helped staff numbers across the business reached 960. Average staff numbers back in 2013 — the last reported figure — totalled just 723.


The factory was commissioned back in 2013 when it agreed a five-year contract to supply sofas to IKEA. It became fully operational earlier this year, slightly later than originally planned, having begun production in July 2013.


Westbridge’s expansion was supported by the Welsh Government, which provided £488k in business finance. Stephen Hampton, group chief executive at Westbridge parent company Belfield Furnishings, said: “The Welsh Government funding support has been fundamental in us taking on the IKEA project which has created a significant number of new jobs in the area.


“The new facility has also enabled us to target and win new business from other retailers across the UK, which provides them with a more sustainable option while also helping to reduce their carbon footprint as a number of them previously imported upholstered products.”


Its IKEA contract added £3m to Westbridge sales* in the second half of 2013, with 2014 numbers likely to show another big increase when they are filed at Companies House.


* total Westbridge sales were up £7m in 2013 to £52.6m. 2014 accounts yet to be filed for Westbridge, though parent company Belfield has already filed last year’s numbers, with group sales growth of 8 per cent (+£8.7m) to £118.3m.