In 2009, Westwood Automation was one of Plymouth’s leading producers, fabricating steel products for many of the UK’s leading brands. But when one of their major customers defaulted on an order, what was once a profitable and proud organisation were ready to shut their doors on the manufacturing market, leaving staff out of work and regular customers looking at alternative solutions.
It was at this stage that an inspirational success story began. As one of Westwood Automations most successful customers, Dominic Wishlade relied on the Plympton based factory to produce his award winning range of modular workshop cabinets. Hearing of the factories struggles and their impending closure, Dominic stepped in and purchased the factories assets, retaining all of their employees on a full time contract and forming Dura Manufacturing Ltd in the process.
Now Dura Manufacturing produces upwards of 50,000 cabinets, tool storage units, workbenches and wall configurations a year, as well as working as a sub-contractor for a number of local companies. In the 6 years the company has been in existence, Dura has doubled their workforce, extended their factory to 80,000 sq. ft and invested over £3 million in state of the art equipment.
Since their growth, Dura have had the pleasure of working with many of the highest luxury automotive brands including, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Bugatti, and Audi. In addition to this Dura design and manufacture for industrial market workshops, and create tailored solutions for the residential market. To complement their manufacturing facilities, the design of Dura’s solutions takes place in the company’s headquarters based in Brackley, Northants.
With so many improvements, and the innovation the company shows, it is clear to see why they were nominated for this year’s Great Faces of British Business competition in the Best Growth Story as well as receiving a number of other prestigious awards including the Queens Award for Enterprise and the Red Dot Design.
Dura Manufacturing, are emblematic of the British manufacturing industry, they have an incredibly proud workforce who work in a great atmosphere, and have a fantastic team spirit. The company’s philosophy is based around providing high quality products, with outstanding levels of service, and it would mean the world to win such a prestigious national competition.
The judges received over 500 entries which have been reviewed in length to create 32 regional finalists from across the UK. The competition has three categories, Best Exporter, Most Innovative Small Business, and Best Growth Story, the category in which Dura Manufacturing have acquired a spot.
Dominic Wishlade said "Whether we win the national title or not, we're absolutely thrilled to have got this far, and to be representing the South West in such an important competition."