Northumberland bathroom manufacturer Aartoft is targeting emerging UK markets and has plans to double its workforce of 25 staff.
The firm, which is based on the site of the former Rio Tinto Alcan Lynemouth aluminium smelter, currently has around 30 staff working on a site of around 20,000sq ft, but managing director Niels Sandahl believes he can double this number. He also hopes to invest in new casting tables and other equipment as well as double the size of the plant over the next year.
Sandahl currently exports the goods to Scandinavia where they are used in hotels, student accommodation and nursing homes through to social housing and apartments.
He has turned to The Business Northumberland High Growth Programme delivered by Oxford Innovation to provide a route to the UK market for a range of lightweight concrete bathroom pods.
“Our concept has been a feature of the Scandinavian construction industry for many years but we have recently seen an increase in UK demand due to the flexibility and durability of our pre-fabricated bathroom pods,” said Sandahl.
He estimates demand for around 2,000 lightweight concrete pods per year in the UK with the majority coming from developers of social housing, hotels and other multiple-occupancy buildings. To date, this demand has been met by imports from manufacturers based in mainland Europe.
Aartoft’s end product is a bathroom custom-made to British Standards featuring tiled walls, flooring, sound reduction technology, ventilation, electrical and water connectivity.