Pashley Cycles

Founded in 1926, Pashley Cycles is Britain’s longest established cycle manufacturer, designing and hand-building traditional bicycles and tricycles. Generating £5million annual turnover and about 8% net margin, the group, encompassing the Pashley and Moulton bicycle brands, employs around 70 people in total, with £4m revenues from Pashley and around £1m from Moulton. Over the last […]

WB the Creative Jewellery Group

Introduction Patrick Fuller, Chairman, WB the Creative Jewellery Group, is interested in how you change market dynamics… “I’m always looking at how to change the way markets operate.”  As one of the largest jewellery manufacturers in Europe, producing over 400,000 pieces in 2013 and setting over 100,000 diamonds, his business is located in the heart […]

James Plant

Introduction In 2008 James graduated from Buckinghamshire Chilterns University with First Class Honours in Contemporary Furniture and Product Design. On graduating James was awarded the prestigious 100% Design New Designer of the Year Award. He was selected by Thorsten Van Elten for the New Designers One Year On programme and came second in the Channel […]

MG logo

MG SAIC, UK, 2013

Martin Uhlarik, Vice Director Design, MG SAIC, in launching the MG3 supermini, outlined the creative process employed in designing their new model at the new EU Design Centre for MG, based in Birmingham. “Our Design Studio in Birmingham has had £1.5m spent on a comprehensive refurbishment which has doubled our studio size,” said Uhlarik. “It […]


Jonathan Duck is proud of the part that the Coventry-based company is playing in rebalancing the UK economy. As brand leaders in the ‘luxury vinyl tile’ market, the company has 20% global market share and sales of over £120m.

He says, “We came out of Courtaulds in 1995, as a management buyout, having built this whole market segment in the 60’s,70’s and 80’s. In 2012 we became part of Mannington Mills, a much larger US-based flooring company, with great long term vision and the ability to fully invest behind Amtico. As a result, we’ve recently doubled our manufacturing capacity through a £6m investment in a new production line, so now we’re Coventry’s largest company actually making things in the city, employing 300 people in the UK and 600 worldwide. This latest investment shows both our commitment to UK manufacturing and the strength and confidence we have in our product.”

AGA Rangemaster Group plc

AGA Rangemaster, an international leader in range cooking, is renowned for its portfolio of brands, ‘loved around the world’.

The AGA Rangemaster family Group represents an impressive range of assembled brands. Known for their pedigree, names like AGA and La Cornue head up this cast, alongside established favourites – Rayburn, Stanley and Redfyre, with next generation -Fired Earth, Falcon, Mercury, Grange, AGA Marvel, Divertimenti and Rangemaster – bringing fresh spirit to longheld values.

This is a brand family that aspires to inspire and the Group strategy aims to connect with more international customers through new product offerings, by building on their exceptional heritage and authenticity. Continued success is largely put down to a pipeline of innovations enabling the range cooker to adapt to modern living.

Emma Bridgewater

Emma Bridgewater is feeling optimistic about the Midlands, its productive heritage and future chances, clear in her mind that ‘Stoke is the place to make quality’, but decrying the ‘mass blindness there is about making things in England.’

“It’s sad to see so much of our manufacturing skills and heritage being lost. I really appreciate working within a recognisable tradition. We have so much infrastructure – museums, art galleries, schools, all intended to forge strong design for our own industries, but somehow it doesn’t seem to happen to the level it should. Maybe all our art schools should forge links with local makers so that their graduates are aware of what manufacturing is locally available. I know that my school trip to Earlys Blanket Factory in Witney in about 1970 had a lasting and far- reaching effect.

ACME Whistles

The Acme Whistle Co, producers of the ‘finest whistles in the world today’, was founded in 1870 by Joseph Hudson, inventor of the first police whistle and has a continuous history of trading, as an independent SME, remaining essentially a ‘family business’. Unlike many similar manufacturing concerns, it has survived the impact of Far Eastern low cost competitors and copycat products. It has not sold out to a bigger company, nor lost its market to ever increasing competition.