Trade with China on the up for Hindley company

Business development manager Stuart Briscoe, warehouse manager John Lee, sales administrator Suzanne Tindall and Gary Stevens

Business development manager Stuart Briscoe, warehouse manager John Lee, sales administrator Suzanne Tindall and Gary Stevens

First published in News

A COMPANY is looking forward to a comfortable future, thanks to the popularity of its bolts and fasteners in China.

Thomas Smith Fasteners has seen a boom in its exports of imperial fasteners to China from its Hindley Green factory.

Office manager and head of export Gary Stevens thinks it is an indication that foreign trust in British manufacturing is returning.

He said: “I think it’s down to quality. A lot of countries associate the UK with good quality products and there are not many bolt manufacturers still going.

“Since the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, lots of companies now have tightened up their quality procedures and now insist on European or UK origin manufactured products.

“Recently we have found that we are getting more inquiries for British made products, and with our manufacturing facilities on site, we are able to supply to customer requirements with all the relevant certificates.

“It shows that overseas customers still have confidence in the high quality of British manufacture. The order we received from China was to replace all the old fasteners in a British made milling machine.”

The company employs about 50 people and until now, its main sales base has been Greater Manchester but it has exported to more than 40 companies worldwide in the past few years Thomas Smith Fasteners was established in 1987 but a sister company, Smith Bullough, has been around since the 1890s and originally manufactured steel nails on Thomas Street, Atherton.

Fred Dibnah, the Bolton steeplejack, bought all his bolts from the company, which featured in a BBC documentary called Made in Britain – the last programme to feature the television personality before he died in 2004.

The company is to continue focusing its efforts on the export market in 2014.

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