Growth Drive For Bedford Manufacturer With £1.9M Investment

by | Nov 28, 2023 | Trade News

A Bedford-based glass manufacturer is doubling its capacity after investing in new machinery and its HQ with the support of a £1.9m funding package from Lloyds Bank.

Clearglaze Ltd has used the capital import finance loan to acquire a new glass toughening furnace from a specialist manufacturer in Italy.

The more efficient machine has twice the capacity as its previous glass toughener, meaning the business is saving around £10,000 on its energy bills each month and has greater capacity to meet growing demand. It has also recently invested in a new fully automatic insulated production line, which automates the process of washing, adding argon gas and sealing double glazed sealed units.

The company specialises in sealed double glazing for windows in residential and commercial developments, with the majority of its business secured through supplying glass to framers contracted directly by developers. However, it also creates a range of glass for interiors, including splashbacks, mirrors, balustrades and shower screens, manufacturing approximately 1,200 units per day.

The investment follows a period of significant growth for the business. Last year it reported record sales with turnover increasing by nearly 20% to £7m.

As well as investing in the new toughener, Clearglaze has also made a series of improvements to its 32,000 sq ft HQ in Bedford. It recently installed a new roof and windows to boost the building’s efficiency, and also added a new canteen for its 50-strong workforce.

The family business was founded by Salvatore and Anna Graziano in 1994, before being acquired by Sav Jr and Nick Graziano in 2020.

Sav Graziano Jr, operations director at Clearglaze, said: “The last two years have been incredibly successful for us, and turbocharged our business. We’ve made some pretty simple changes to our operations, but they’ve really helped to reduce our costs and that’s helping us to invest further.

“This phase of investment – supported by Russell and the team at Lloyds Bank – represents a new era for our business, as we boost capacity, quality and keep costs low. Most importantly, these things will help us to achieve our top priority of offering the best service possible, and I’m really excited for what the future has in store for us as we continue to grow.”

Russell Dermont, relationships director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Clearglaze is an excellent example of a business not resting on its laurels. It’s so important to recognise when demand is rising and to invest in order to capitalise on it, which is exactly what the business has done.

“Constantly keeping an eye out for ways to boost efficiency should be high on all firms’ agenda, particularly as operational costs remain high. It will unlock opportunities for growth, and we’re committed to being by the side of businesses moving towards this.”

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