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Onwards and upwards for Applelec

Onwards and upwards for Applelec


Due to its continued growth over the past five years, during which time it has seen its workflow, turnover and staff numbers all double, Applelec has announced the completion of phase one of its planned multi-million pound expansion programme, following its purchase of the 6.3-acre Wharfedale Business Park at the end of last year.

With the new sign factory now open, the complex will eventually see all of the company’s sign, display and lighting divisions conveniently consolidated on one site, together with a warehousing facility.

The sign factory and company stores will be linked by modern, purpose-built offices designed by NJ+Architects, to which all staff will be relocated following the final phase of the work.

Commenting on the move, Ian Drinkwater, Applelec’s Managing Director, said: “After 17 years at our current premises, it’s no exaggeration to say that we’ve outgrown both our offices and factories. We’ve spent 18 months looking for a new site and the Wharfedale Business Park finally provides us with the space we need to meet our expanding workload, whilst also ensuring that we have room to grow in the future.”

He added that he anticipates that the development will be completed within a year.

The sign factory, which opened earlier this summer, is now home to 22 members of staff, three CNC machines and Applelec’s letter making machinery, including an automated return shaper and laser welder. The layout of the new factory has been especially developed to prioritise workflow based on historic sales and features additional height to accommodate the manufacture of architectural signs, including large scale fabricated totems and monoliths.

Planning for site accessibility was a priority at Wharfedale, as architectural signage has been a growth area for Applelec during the last year following the appointment of design engineer MattyBullough. The business park features an off-road entrance with a dedicated goods-in area that helps to streamline transportation to and from the complex and ensures that Applelec can now easily accommodate HGVs with trailers.

Gary Middlemiss, Applelec’s Operations Manager, reported: “Sign production is already running smoothly at the new factory, with an average of 14 jobs per day leaving the site. We have worked hard to ensure that there has been no disruption to workflow during the moving period and are now planning the second phase of work, which will culminate in the opening of our new lighting factory.”

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