Rotherham fence firm raises bar with £2m investment

From Glastonbury to the Olympics, you can't turn the television on without seeing one of ZND UK's products - although you probably won't know it.

From left: Peter Egan, Kash Ahmed, James McLean, Stephen Chichester, Ian Banks and Lee Bloodwater.

The temporary barrier firm, based in Rotherham, is booming on the back of an increase in events, growth in the construction sector, concerns about health and safety - and a commitment to investing in machinery.

Founder and managing director James McLean said they had just spent £2m on a new machine to make metal barriers which is set to double capacity.

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It comes after the company borrowed £3.2m from Lloyds Bank last year for a machine to make temporary fences which doubled production of that line.

The firm, which has a factory on Barbot Hall Industrial Estate, employs 110 and is recruiting five, turnover is more than £40m and export is almost 40 per cent of business.

Mr McLean said: “We have been growing every year since it started in 1997. We have spent a lot of money in the last five years to compete with other countries with lower labour costs. Every time its about producing our equipment with less and less labour. But the headcount never goes down because we end up doing more products. We have got 70 per cent of the market in the UK, Health and Safety is our big ally.

“But also civil engineering and roadworks firms are swapping to metal barriers because they don’t blow down.”

The firm also has a printing line so customers can order artwork for their fencing and hoarding.

Mr McLean added: “Growth in the construction sector has resulted in a surge in demand for our products.

“Lloyds Bank was able to identify and provide a funding solution which significantly increased our export capacity, capitalising on growing demand from overseas for products that comply with EU regulations.”

Ian Banks, relationship director at Lloyds, said: “ZND UK is a leading UK manufacturer, so we were pleased to support the purchase which has helped the business unlock the next stage in its growth strategy.

“This funding is ideal for machinery businesses.”