This week #madeinsandwell Monday is celebrating the UK’s largest cold roll-forming company: Hadley Group (www.hadleygroup.com), which is based here in the Black Country.
The company was founded by Philip Hadley Senior in 1964 from tiny backstreet premises. Now its Smethwick headquarters are at the centre of a global business with seven worldwide manufacturing centres across Europe, Asia and the Middle East, producing a billion metres of cold-rolled steel every year.
Hadley Group employs over 600 people and has an operating profit of over £11m. Its services include precision engineering, custom product design, research and development, prototype testing and virtual simulation.
The company has a policy of producing custom machinery and tooling, keeping it at the forefront of the sector. In the 1979 economic recession, while many of its competitors struggled, Hadley doubled in size.
Another key to the company’s success has been the development of UltraSTEEL(R). Launched in 1982, this is a cold roll-forming process which increases product strength and uses less raw material, thus making products more cost effective and lighter in weight and reducing their overall environmental impact.
The Midlands is very much at the heart of the business and is home to the group’s three UK sites. Downing Street in Smethwick is the administrative and design centre, West Bromwich Street in Oldbury specialises in assembling large-scale steel frames, and the site on Gaitskell Way specialises in UltraSTEEL(R) products and is home to the group’s transport and logistics division.
Stewart Towe, the group’s chairman and managing director, said the firm is very much committed to the region. “The Black Country is a great place to do business. Not only does the company have deep roots here, the transport links and business support available are second to none.”
Hadley Group has just been named as one of the Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250, which ranks Britain’s private mid-market growth companies with the biggest sales. In February it hosted a visit from members of Sandwell Council’s cabinet, giving them a tour of both Oldbury and Smethwick sites and discussing how the council can support the company’s future plans.
These include the ongoing development of sustainable design and construction techniques. Hadley Group is also working with leading car manufacturers, such as Jaguar Land Rover and Porsche, to engineer new applications for its technology in the automotive industry.
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