More light needed on Brexit, says Gamma

A low energy light fittings designer and manufacturer is calling on the Government to take fast and decisive action as Britain prepares to leave the European Union.

Craig Marney the MD of Gamma Illumination, Dewsbury.17th September 2018 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Dewsbury-based Gamma Illumination, which is in the process of opening a second factory, said that business is already being hurt by uncertainty.

Managing director Craig Marney, whose father and uncle set up the company in 1995, said that the longer the uncertainty goes on the costlier it’ll be for businesses.

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Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, he said: “When Brexit was announced it had a massive effect on the exchange rate, which hurt us.

“We’re seeing a lack of customer confidence with there being uncertainty. Some of the retailers are not doing the refurbishments or new builds that they wanted to do because of that uncertainty.”

Mr Marney added that once businesses know what is happening with the Brexit deal it would bring back some confidence.

He said: “At the minute I don’t know how it’s going to affect my business in importing components from all over the world; how it’s going to affect the business when it comes to exporting products across the world.

“A lot of the standards that we build our products to are European safety and performance standards, so how’s that going to affect things?”

Gamma Illumination, which has a sister brand called Martech manufacturing for other lighting firms, also has employees from Europe that it wants to continue investing in and training.

“The biggest thing for me at the minute has got to be what props we are left with after this Brexit deal is finalised,” Mr Marney said.

Despite this, Gamma Illumination, which has 85 full-time employees, recently invested in a new factory just opposite its current base. The new 90,000 sq ft factory could see another 40 jobs created.

“We’re here for the long haul,” Mr Marney said. “We’re investing heavily in what we’re doing.”

The managing director isn’t 100 per cent sure that a no deal Brexit will necessarily have a detrimental effect on his business. But he says that it’s very difficult to guess when businesses don’t know what rules they will be governed by.

He added: “Once we know what those rules are it’ll enable us to structure the business accordingly to try and continue its growth.

“If there is a no deal Brexit, we’re just going to have an awful lot more red tape and we’re going to be operating the business with our hands tied for a period of time.”

Gamma has recently started making big inroads into the Middle Eastern market.

“We’ve got a lot of products that suit the architectural and hospitality sector and the Middle East, certainly Dubai, is all about architecture,” Mr Marney said. “It’s all about excellence and that suits our product range.”

He added: “In the Middle East they also appreciate British standards. They appreciate good quality British manufactured products.”

Lighting up the future

The business was established by Craig Marney’s father, Derek Marney, and his uncle, Malcolm Marney.

Derek Marney was a trained electrician and his son Craig joined the business in 1997.

The biggest change the industry has seen is the advent of LED technology. It has enabled lighting to be manufactured at half the cost.

Gamma Illumination sees further growth in wireless lighting. Mr Marney said: “We’re now introducing wireless, where you install the light fittings and they will all just talk to each.”

The business does fittings for retailers such as Greggs.