A leading manufacturer of industrial adhesives has expanded into a dedicated production facility in Aldridge with legal support on both the lease and planning issues being handled by FBC Manby Bowdler.
Founded in 1985, privately owned Chemique Adhesives supplies its products to a wide range of clients including those involved in furniture manufacturing, transportation and construction. Three years ago, and following sustained domestic growth, the business started to research the options for expanding the business and as Stuart Francis, Managing Director, explains the solution to their growth plans wasn’t a million miles away.
“Having been based in Aldridge since we began over thirty years ago, we were keen to expand the business without having to totally relocate. And we didn’t have to look far - our new 15,000 sq ft production facility is, in fact, within walking distance of our existing units on the Empire Close industrial estate so we very much achieved that. It wasn’t, however, without some complications.
“Whilst the proximity to our existing units and the floor-space, which is sufficient to house our new equipment and support our increased production levels, ticked all the necessary boxes, the planning status of the unit did not suit our intended use. The fact that it had been previously used as a distribution facility actually meant that we could not automatically use it for our business without first seeking permission to change its use to manufacturing.
“Establishing the planning status was a complex task in itself, but Suzanne Tucker and the planning team at FBC Manby were always on hand to advise and deal with the planning application. Having their expertise alongside that of the commercial property team was invaluable.”
Since gaining access to their new unit, the Chemique Adhesives team has carried out an extensive programme of renovation to include the installation of a new mezzanine floor and a comprehensive office refit in preparation for a new Technical Development Centre and Engineering Division. It has also been fully equipped with new machinery worth over £300,000.
Commenting on the relationship between Chemique Adhesives and FBC Manby Bowdler, Andy Ward, a solicitor within the firm’s Commercial Property team said:
“Stuart and his team recognised early on that their growing business would need to physically expand into larger premises if they were to keep up with production requirements both now and in the future. However, with their heritage in Aldridge and as a member of Made in the Midlands, they were keen to stay nearby.
“Therefore, identifying that there was an additional unit of the necessary size within close proximity to their existing base provided an ideal solution but came with planning obstacles. However, given that there’s been a relationship between Chemique Adhesives and FBC Manby Bowdler for 10 years, we could quickly and effectively mobilise our planning experts, whilst reassuring Stuart with familiar faces.”
Stuart concludes: “Our expansion will enable us to respond to demand for the coming 10 years and as a result, we’ve been able already to recruit three new members of staff with an additional five new jobs expected over the next two years.
“Quite simply, when growing and expanding a business as we have, it’s reassuring to know that the legal side of things is being handled by a team that is thorough and un-phased by unforeseen complexities. Suzanne and Andy, and those around them at FBC Manby Bowdler, most certainly delivered on that front and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them to others with commercial property and planning needs.”