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Market-leading cable management manufacturer Marshall-Tufflex is celebrating 75 years of innovation with a programme of events planned for the coming months.

From a summer party in the company’s home town of Hastings, East Sussex, to the burial of a Time Capsule for retrieval in another 75 years and (in typical Marshall-Tufflex style) donating 75 days for staff to carry out charity work, the aim is to involve the whole business in the celebrations and benefit others.Marshall Tufflex

“Innovation and charity giving have, from day one, been in our DNA and continue to set us apart in the marketplace,” said Marshall-Tufflex Chief Executive Paul Hetherington. “We manufacture and supply the largest and highest quality range of cable management solutions on the market. And every time one of our products is purchased a charity benefits. In the last 10 years alone we have donated more than £750,000 to worthwhile causes. We will continue innovating and giving and look forward to the next 75 years.”

The Marshall-Tufflex story began on May 28th, 1942, when founder Harold Cirket registered the company name. He had just the idea of developing the then unknown potential of plastic extrusion and a £394 War Loan behind him. The rest, as they say, is history. Marshall-Tufflex is now a multi-million pound business trading in more than 40 countries and employing more than 170 people across its manufacturing base and HQ in Hastings, East Sussex, together with depots in London and Manchester.

To celebrate the anniversary the company is holding a summer party in Hastings for all past and present employees, their families and company shareholders. A Time Capsule will be buried on the Marshall-Tufflex premises during the week of the anniversary for retrieval in 75 years and company book ‘The First 50 years and On To the Millennium’, is being updated for release later this year.

The company is also donating time for employees to undertake 75 days of charity work by volunteering for charities including St Michael’s Hospice, Chestnut Tree House and The Tressell Trust. This initiative reflects the company’s commitment to the Hastings area and the willingness of its workforce to give something back to organisations which are such an important part of their community.

“We are delighted to be celebrating Marshall-Tufflex’s 75th birthday,” added Mr Hetherington. “Harold Cirket established the business during the austere war time years, pioneering the UK’s plastic extrusion market. Little could he have known that 75 years later the company would be a market-leader. We are justifiably proud of his achievements and of those of all employees, past and present.”

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If you want to know more then visit their site here.

Plastipack Ltd, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of specialist covering materials for swimming pools, has opened an exciting new test and research facility at its headquarters in St Leonards-on- Sea, East Sussex. The new capability was officially opened by Rt. Hon. Amber RuddMP, Member of Parliament for Hastings and Rye, and Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

The unique test facility, a world first, comprises five outdoor 8m x 4m x 1.2m swimming pools located side by side. This allows Plastipack to accurately measure and compare the performance of different types of cover materials, while monitoring real-time water temperature and environmental conditions.Plastpack Ltd

Amber Rudd was delighted to formally open Plastipack’s new test facility, saying; “It’s encouraging that an interesting and innovative business such as Plastipack is growing so strongly on the world stage from their established base in Hastings. It’s vital that they are able to continue to access the support within the UK and Europe that is so important for their growth prospects.”

Peter Adlington, managing director of Plastipack Ltd, explains how the test facility will benefit the company. “Our new outdoor laboratory will be invaluable in the development, analysis and comparison of high performance cover materials for pools. It increases our understanding of how products perform on real pools and will help Plastipack maintain market leadership through technical expertise. It adds credibility to product claims with publishable results and greater environmental monitoring which sets us and our products apart from other manufacturers. It also helps raise the importance and industry awareness of credible performance data,” he adds.

The test facility has been designed and developed in collaboration with the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) at the University of Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute and Department of Physics. The project is co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

The test area represents an investment of £100k at Plastipack’s St Leonards site, which currently employs 34 core staff. The company has invested over £3 million in its manufacturing and distribution capability since it was formed in 1999. Plastipack currently exports to 34 countries throughout the world, with around 75% of its business in the EU.

Plastipack Ltd contact details: Tel +44 (0) 1424 851 659, www.plastipack.co.uk

UK manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in three years in April due to concerns about the strength of the global economy.

The Markit/CIPS manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell from 49.2 in April from 50.7 in March, which is the first time that activity in the manufacturing section has dropped since March 2013. Anything under the 50 mark indicates falling output.

Firms have said that a fall in new business from overseas and uncertainty due to the EU referendum are to blame. As the oil and gas industry is currently slowed, it is hitting production as this is a major company for UK businesses.

Matching February’s three-year low, the index for new orders fell to 50.4 in April, which is lower than 51.9 the previous month.

Official figures revealed last week that UK economic growth slowed to 0.4% in the first quarter of the year from 0.6% later in 2015.


As part of a successful scheme to advance education for the benefit of the local area, Hastings based manufacturing firm Marshall Tufflex have  been hosting factory tours for students from local primary and secondary schools.

Students from Robsack Primary School and Helenswood Academy visited the firm in October to see the moulding and extrusion manufacturing in process.

The visit is part of a local Hastings and Rye initiative the Education Futures Trust, a charitable organisation which seeks to advance education for the local community for children and young people.

Group Personnel Development Manager Steve Baldry said that “We are very keen to build relationships with local schools as these children will be our potential future employees,  These initiatives allow us to give something back to the community as well as increasing awareness of the skills and disciplines we need to continue as a successful Hastings business.

Today is manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) day in Europe. It is a day where the new readings on how the sector is doing in key economies across the continent are released.

Markit’s PMI shows the business conditions across the whole sector. However, any reading above 50 is a sign of growth whereas, anything below this number means that the manufacturing industry is shrinking.

In terms of the continent-wide reading, the figure for July stood at 52.4 and the most recent figure was 52.3. This was just short of the expectations of 52.4.

Both France and Greece have shrinking manufacturing sectors and Spain, Italy and Germany are gradually leading up to strong growth. Despite this, some figures were lower than the expectations.

The readings for August are as follows:
Spain: 53.2
Italy: 53.8
France: 48.3
Germany: 53.3
Greece: 39.1
UK: 51.5

Although there have been some strong figures, not all countries met their forecasts and some were even below July’s reading.

Spain was in line with the forecasts but was below July’s figure of 53.6. Italy was behind on both the forecast and the previous reading, as it was expected to have a reading of 54.8 and was even lower than July’s 55.3.

France held the same figure from July but was lower than the expected number of 48.6. Although Greece is at a low point, it has improved, as the reading was 30.2 in July.

Germany is on a balanced ground, exceeding its forecast of 53.2 but keeping the same reading from July. The UK was short of the forecast of 52 and the August reading was also down from July’s figure of 51.9.

The UK manufacturing growth had a 26-month low in June but has now picked up in July according to a survey.

In July, the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 51.9 in July, from 51.4 in June. This shows good improvement as any figure above 50 indicated expansion.

Despite this result, it is still below the average of 54.3, which the sector has had since April 2013.

In addition, manufacturing has been at its lowest since September 2014 when it comes to the pace of growth of new orders, as this slowed to 52.2. Product expansion continues to be dependent on consumer goods manufacturing, which offset a contraction in investment goods. This includes goods such as plant and machinery, according to Markit.

The sterling-euro exchange rate sapped the demand for exports and new export orders contracted for the fourth consecutive month in July.


The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently published a report about the importance of the European Union (EU) to UK trade and investment along with supporting graphs and figures.

The European Union (EU) was first formed in 1993 and over this period of time, it has become larger than any individual economy in the world. Its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) surpasses even the USA’s, this happened in 2003, which was the first time since 1998. Growth in the non-EU economies has outpaced growth of EU economies, which means that the EU’s share of global GDP has fallen to 24% in 2013, from 30% in 1993. However, this was largely driven by such strong growth in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies.

In 2014, the EU accounted for a total of 44.6% of UK exports of goods and services as well as 53.2% of UK imports of goods and services even though there have been changes in the composition of the global economy. The UK has traditionally had strong trade links with the EU and the rising economic growth in other developing economies outside of the EU has therefore, resulted in non-EU economies growing and becoming more important to UK trade.

Between the years of 1999 and 2014, exports from the UK to EU and non-EU countries have grown, on average, by 3.6% and 6.5% respectively. The EU has fallen down with UK exports from 54.8% in 1999 to 44.6% in 2014 and this is because of the stronger export growth to non-EU countries. The good news is that the growth in value of UK imports of goods and services from EU and non-EU countries is still growing; the average growth is between 4.7% and 5.5% respectively in each year since 1999.

The UK’s overall trade balance with the EU is gradually deteriorating because of the faster growth in the value of UK imports compared to exports with the EU. The trade deficit has widened and reached £61.6 billion in 2014 compared with £11.2 billion in 1999. This is a big difference and over time, the question begs whether this could rise again.

Goods that were imported by the UK from the EU have risen by 4.9% per year on average and this can be compared to exports, which have risen by 2.5% per year and therefore, this caused the UK’s trade in goods deficit with the EU to rise to £77.0 billion. This shows how goods and services largely dominate UK trade with the EU and in 2014 the ONS found that trade in goods represented close to two-thirds of all UK exports to the EU, as well as over three-quarters of total UK imports from the EU.

The UK’s trade in services balance with the EU is quite favourable as it has continued to run a surplus in each year since 2005, which reached £15.4 billion in 2014. Services exports have played a big role in the growth of UK exports of goods and services to non-EU countries, as they have grown at a faster rate than imports. Over the past three years, the UK has run an overall trade surplus with non-EU countries and it has reached £27.8 billion in 2014.

Find the full report here.

Posted by: In: Initiatives, Investment, Jobs, Manufacturing 22 Jun 2015 Comments: 0

An apprenticeship scheme to attract fresh engineering talent has proved so successful for Hastings-based Marshall-Tufflex that it is considering extending it to other areas of the business.

The cable management specialist, which has its manufacturing base in Hastings, East Sussex, has taken on four apprentice engineers in its Engineering Department. A fifth vacancy has yet to be filled.

“Engineering resource was identified as a big problem for us,” said Steven Baldry, Marshall-Tufflex Group Personnel Development Manager. “To help fill this gap in what is a critical area we’ve invested in an Apprenticeship Programme to attract young people into engineering so we may develop and grow the technical skills needed to meet our demands. The programme has proved so effective we’re considering broadening it to encompass other areas of our business, allowing for the development of good practice and skills to aid our future growth.”

Nationally there is a huge shortage of engineers, with statistics showing that more than 50,000 jobs need to be filled each year to meet industry demand for workers with engineering skills.

Marshall-Tufflex has worked with local training provider SIGTA to recruit and train the apprentices – Jon Aherne, Elliot Finch, Liam Shepherd and Josh Hayler – who are all assigned mentors within the business. Each apprentice is working towards an NVQ Level 3 Advanced Modern Apprenticeship in Engineering. The company is also looking to increase its collaboration with STEM Sussex, part of the University of Brighton, to help support the development of careers in engineering and engaging with local initiatives such as ‘Own Grown’, a project in Hastings and Rother to help young people enter the world of work.

Amber Rudd, Hastings and Rye MP who held a Careers Fayre at the ARK William Parker Academy, Hastings, earlier in the year at which Marshall-Tufflex was an exhibitor, said: “We are so fortunate to have such an array of industries offering a wide range of careers, opportunities and apprenticeships here in Hastings.”

Underpinning the Fayre was the message to young people that there are prospects for them in Hastings, as ARK William Parker Academy careers advisor Marie Byas explained: “The purpose of this event was to ensure students are aware that there is a career and a future for them in Hastings.”

This view is shared by Marshall-Tufflex Chief Executive Paul Hetherington, who has made it clear he is keen to promote opportunities within Marshall-Tufflex to job seekers in Hastings and the surrounding area. “Hastings has been good to Marshall-Tufflex during its 60 years in the town and it has always been important to us to give something back, usually through our charitable trust. However, we also want to develop local talent and keep skilled workers in the town. Our Apprenticeship Programme is a really positive step towards achieving this,” said Mr Hetherington.

Hastings based cable management manufacturer Marshall-Tufflex is strengthening its market-leading position by extending its unique Same Day Collection service with longer opening hours and refurbished collection points.

The service allows account-holding electrical distributors to collect cable management orders between 7am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday, just two hours after order placement from Marshall-Tufflex’s strategically located depots in London and Manchester, a service unrivalled in the industry. Orders placed between 3.30pm and 5pm can be collected from 7am the next working day.

Stock levels of key product ranges are also being extended and constantly reviewed to ensure popular stock lines are available.

The Same Day Collection service is in addition to normal Marshall-Tufflex product deliveries via the company’s own logistics fleet, ensuring wholesalers have the option to obtain stock within 2 hours outside of their normal delivery runs. Contractors benefit from improved access to a quick solution should last minute problems arise on site, resulting in shorter waiting times for urgently needed product.

Both the Manchester and London depots are accessible from major road links and are convenient to get to, with a wide catchment area within one hour’s drive of each. Marshall-Tufflex will provide a reception area at the depots, with a dedicated collection point, seating and refreshments available.

Product collections can also be arranged from Marshall-Tufflex’s manufacturing base in Hastings, on a next-day basis for orders placed before 12.30pm.

“Extended opening hours is good news for our wholesalers and contracting clients and signals just how serious we are about delivering the best products at the right time,” said Debbie Ensell, Marshall-Tufflex Customer Services Manager. “Competitors, at best, only offer next day delivery so offering a Collection Service with a maximum two hour turnaround from receipt of order (subject to stock availability) coupled with longer opening hours is an exciting development that we hope will really benefit our customers, allowing them to better service their electrical contractor customers.”

Details of the depots where this can be done are:

  • Hastings: Marshall-Tufflex, 55-65 Castleham Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, TN38 9NU
  • London: Marshall-Tufflex, 101c Blackhorse Lane, London, E17 6DJ
  • Manchester: Marshall-Tufflex, Europa Trading Estate, Stoneclough Road, Radcliffe, Manchester, M26 1GG