Multi-sensory equipment maker embarks on overseas expansion

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Multi-sensory equipment manufacturer Experia is targeting overseas growth after buying its own premises, investing in infrastructure and creating jobs.

The Barnsley-based firm has bought the 25,000 sq ft workshop it occupies at Acorn Business Park, which it previously rented from Barnsley Council, and taken on extra space to allow room for growth.

The purchase of the workshop, which was part-funded by the Regional Growth Fund, follows a £70,000 investment in new IT systems, design software and machinery in the previous 12 months. Experia, which worked with Enterprising Barnsley business coaches to secure the premises, also created five new jobs last year bringing its workforce to 19.

It now plans to create a new on-site paint shop.

Managing director Gareth Jones said: “Our strategy over the last year has been to consolidate our business and secure our own premises so that we are in a strong position to develop new products and further extend our customer base.

“We have gained thousands of UK customers since we established the company in 2006 and on top of that our overseas sales leapt up by 70 per cent two years ago. Exports are currently worth £400,000 a year to us and we want to see this figure double in the next twelve months. We now have the talent and infrastructure in place to achieve that – and the room to grow.”

Experia exports to more than 300 customers in Denmark, Dubai, Canada, Cyprus, New Zealand, Mexico and Qatar.

The company designs, manufactures and installs a wide range of multi-sensory products from bubble tubes, projectors and pieces of fibre optic equipment to complete sensory rooms.

Designed for children and adults with a range of complex conditions, sensory issues, behavioural problems or dementia, the company’s customers include day care centres, hospices, visitor attractions, private individuals and even dental surgeries wanting to create a therapeutic, soothing environment.