Contract wins see glassHUS expand with new site

glassHUS takes on more staff and expands capabilities with move to Rivergreen Industry Centre

Simon Tuckwell, managing director of glassHUS with Cllr Harry Trueman, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council
Simon Tuckwell, managing director of glassHUS with Cllr Harry Trueman, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council

An upsurge in new contract wins has seen a fast-growing Sunderland firm move to new premises, allowing it to manufacture bespoke facades for the construction sector.

glassHUS designs and now produces architectural glass, aluminium facades and curtain walling for commercial clients and bespoke private developments.

Initially starting out as a design company in 2009, the business began fabricating its own products earlier this year after securing a strong order book, including a £300,000-plus contract from Robertson Construction to create a new facade for part of South Tyneside College. This is the second phase of the project in which the company has been involved.

The new contracts have given glassHUS the opportunity to expand the business, seeing the team move from Sunderland’s Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) to its new design and manufacturing facility at the Rivergreen Industry Centre.

The company has also invested almost £50,000 in new machinery, while increasing its workforce to 10.

glassHUS managing director Simon Tuckwell said: “We used to get the product outsourced by an accredited fabricator. However, due to the upturn in the order book we felt it was a good opportunity to expand and become more competitive but also to maintain our high quality standards.

“We contacted Neil Clasper at Sunderland City Council’s business investment team. He recommended that we look at Rivergreen, and given local transport links and its proximity to the A19 we felt Rivergreen was suitable.

“Since we began to manufacture rather than subcontract, staff numbers have more than doubled. Our sector has been buoyant since April and the signs are that this will continue. We will review again next year to see whether we need to increase staff numbers. We are a company that wishes to continuously improve its product and services.”

This is the second time Sunderland City Council has supported glassHUS’s growth. When the company initially moved into the BIC from its first furnished office space, the local authority provided support and advice.

glassHUS is currently working on a project at the council’s Turbine Business Park for GMI Construction, as well as carrying out contracts at a retail park in Cramlington via the RG Group and for Esh Property Services in York. It has also secured contracts for a science park and motor dealership in Cumbria and, for the second time, work with GMI Construction on a new store in Harrogate.

Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, Cllr Harry Trueman said: “glassHUS is a fantastic example of a growing local business which is selling bespoke Sunderland-designed and manufactured products across the UK.

“The company has grown quickly, despite starting out in the midst of recession in 2009.”

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