As proud UK office furniture manufacturers, Flexiform has joined the Northern Powerhouse community. Based in Bradford, Flexiform has a long-established reputation for the design, manufacture, and installation of workplace office interiors and office furniture for both the private sector and government offices across the UK.
Driving the Northern Powerhouse
Flexiform believes in the power of the North’s long history of manufacturing, and its ability to stimulate growth and innovation through the wider UK economy. The abundance of talent in the surrounding areas has allowed Flexiform to continuously grow and succeed. Our long history of manufacturing experience has seen us outgrow previous facilities, from our original Wellington Street, premises in Leeds to expanding to the current Thornbury site in 1988. Throughout history, we have always stuck to our Northern roots!
Our 118,000 sq. ft production facility is currently undergoing significant multi–million-pound investment to facilitate our ambitious growth plans. This year (2019) we have invested over £1m in Laser and Bender technologies with further investment in Robotic Welders and IT systems to follow. In August this year, Flexiform were listed in the Business Desktop 50 fastest-growing companies across the Leeds City Region. This continuous investment will allow us to grow and build on our reputation as key Northern Manufacturers and leaders in our marketplace.
What is the Northern Powerhouse?
The Northern Powerhouse is the Government’s vision for a super-connected, globally-competitive northern economy with a flourishing private sector, a highly-skilled population, and world-renowned civic and business leadership. The Northern Powerhouse Partner Programme is a growing network of businesses and organisations who all believe strongly in the economic potential of the North, and support the need for a combined effort by government and business to realise that potential.
The North is world-famous for its manufacturing and steel industries so it’s fitting that Flexiform have become the latest members of our Northern Powerhouse Partner Programme. Flexiform’s growth and increased investment in the Bradford City Region provides good, well-paid jobs and they are well placed to work with us to build on our significant £145 million Local Growth Fund investment across Yorkshire to ensure businesses can take full advantage of the global opportunities coming when we leave the EU.
– Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, the Rt Hon Jake Berry, MP
At Flexiform, we continually run training programmes to develop the skills of our staff, from bespoke Marketing sessions, IT courses, and NVQs in manufacturing. In recent years, we have trained up 16 people with NVQ certifications in Business Improvement Techniques, alongside workshops in health and safety, and 5s principles. We also undertook kaizen projects across several departments to improve productivity, with further assessments in English, Maths and ICT. All our staff passed, gaining new skills and qualifications.
“We continually support our staff, offering personal development training as well as machinery programming and operations. Giving this training engages the staff and develops the skills and capability of the factory.” – Michael Etherington, Production Manager.
Within our £multi-million investment plan, we have introduced new machinery and programming to the manufacturing team. Various departments have had significant training sessions to program and operate the new Bystronic Laser Profiler, Salvagnini P2 Lean Panel Bender and Salvagnini P4 Auto & Bender with more training sessions to be rolled out. We have also invested in a new Combi-lift FLT, with training lasting 3 days per session including operations and health and safety.
Flexiform is a recognised living wage employer, ensuring all permanent staff across the factory, office and regional hubs (London and Scotland) are paid the UK standard living wage. We believe providing a fair living wage helps motivate and engage staff, providing the best services to our clients.
In the last few years, we have launched new apprenticeship programmes in collaboration with KIT’s College in Brighouse. The Production team has had a total of 5 students, with 2 currently specialising in a Mechanical & Electrical qualification and a Mechanical CNC qualification. With some of our staff members being with us for over 30 years, we believe this experience is invaluable for future generations and passes on our combined knowledge. For 2020, we are looking to employ a further 3 apprentices within Mechanical, Fabrication and Quality/ Health and Safety departments.
We have also had a number of work experience students from Bradford College, spending 1-2 weeks with us to understand manufacturing roles and responsibilities on the shop floor. This year, we are once again inviting local schools to come in and visit our manufacturing and design facilities, helping to inspire future generations of manufacturers! The students will get a tour with our Managing Director, Nick Hewitt, followed by a demonstration and talk from our Engineering and Interior Design departments. Our guests will be able to experience our Virtual Reality headsets and understand the various processes in designing, manufacturing and planning products.
“Engaging with the local community is important to us, by opening our doors to the local community we look to encourage the next generation of designers and manufacturers. Spending time with students is good for both parties, we can advise on all aspects of getting a job in design and manufacturing, right down to writing a good CV.”
– Chris Raby, Engineering Manager.
Investing in the Local Community
Flexiform are a great believer in giving back to the community, either fundraising for worthy causes close to our staff’s hearts, donating furniture, or other items. With our sister brand, Asgard Secure Steel Storage, we have worked with charities such as Kirkwood Hospice (Huddersfield), St. Curthbert’s Church & Wrose Community Garden (Bradford), CHAS @ St. Vincent’s, 39th Parkwood Scouts (Huddersfield) and local Bradford & Leeds schools. As a team, we have also donated food to local foodbanks and raised large amounts of money for National Charities, and sponsored competitions with local colleges. Check out our Community Page for more!
To find out more about Flexiform’s heritage and commitment to the Northern Powerhouse, contact Andy Heath on firstname.lastname@example.org