The owners of a North Wales merchandising company seeking a new base for their HQ have snapped up a whole industrial estate.
Alan and Sioned Jones of Sional Promotional Merchandise Ltd revealed their investment to Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb when he officially opened the company’s new offices, warehouse and showroom on Llanfairfechan Industrial Estate.
The company, which has just marked a record-breaking financial year with sales rising by more than 70%, supplies more than 60,000 promotional products from branded pens to sports clothing, uniforms and hi-vis workwear, with items sent as far afield as Australia.
It is an official provider of sportswear for Premier League football clubs, and among its 2,200 customers are UK-based multi-national companies including GreenThumb and Marshalls, plus the Welsh Olympic Trap Team, North Wales Car Club (Cambrian Rally), sports clubs, schools, local authorities and charities.
The £500,000 investment by Alan and Sioned, who launched the business 12 years ago from the bedroom of their home in the village, has helped bring 23 jobs to Llanfairfechan Industrial Estate.
The estate on Llanerch Road was originally built by the now-defunct Welsh Development Agency with six units offering 15,000 sq ft plus space for a further 4,500sq ft. Once occupied by Bathers Bakery, it is now home to Sional, two car repair companies, a martial arts centre, food producers and a photographer.
Alan said: “The new HQ has brought back to life a unit that has stood empty for several years. We split the 9,000 sq ft unit to create six units – one for Sional, one for our son’s high-performance car repair company, and hot-desking offices for small start-ups The first sole trader has just moved in and we are now searching for others that we can help on the road to commercial success.
“We had reached capacity in our previous unit in Llanfairfechan and we decided we needed larger premises to continue our growth. Our embroidery machines were running at full speed every day. We could see there was the potential to produce more items in larger premises so starting to search for new premises.
“As this is the village where Sioned and I have lived for many years, we wanted to keep the company here. We knew that Llanfairfechan Industrial Estate, consisting of six units, was on the market and decided to buy the whole estate, as it made financial sense.
“We’ve had positive comments from those living nearby on the improvement work we have carried out, such as trimming back overgrown bushes and installing new signs.
“There is space on the estate for expansion and further growth in the future in new units to attract new businesses, which is something we are considering for next year and beyond. Our commitment is to ensure it remains a vibrant place to operate a business, now and in the future.
“The new warehouse gives us a lot more room so we can work more efficiently, plus there is a fully-fitted showroom, where customers can examine what they are planning to order, which will help us to build the business. The showroom will be particularly important for customers looking for one-offs – such as for family events or hen parties.
“There are presently nine staff, and we have plans to recruit more as the business grows thanks to the expanded space in which we can now operate.
“We’ve also created a new job, under the Jobs Growth Wales programme, and this new recruit will be helping us with increased orders and despatch.”
Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb snipped a ribbon to officially open the new Sional HQ before unveiling a plaque in the company’s reception area.
He said: “This is a great local success story, with the investment in Llanfairfechan Industrial Estate and getting new businesses into the village. The business started out in a back bedroom and now employs nine people with purpose built premises, and it’s the type of investment we want to see in Aberconwy.
“I am delighted to be here and being allowed to officially declare this facility open – it makes me very proud.
“This is exactly what we need in this area – people willing to invest and willing to employ because ultimately we want home-grown entrepreneurial success stories in Aberconwy.”
Sional’s products include workwear and uniforms for companies, local authorities, health trusts, hotels, sports clubs and schools. Other promotional goods include banners, key-rings, pens, wallets, toys, bags, umbrellas and even onesies.
The company also runs free online shops for dozens of schools, clubs and societies, helping them to raise much-needed funds. They include the Welsh Olympic Trap Team, Quattro Owners Club, Caravanners R Us, Welsh Clay Target Association, North Wales Car Club, Weightlifting Wales, Ysgol Aberconwy and Ysgol Friars.
More details at 01248 689249 or mypromotionalmerchandise.co.uk