Expansion plans #MadeInSandwell

A pile of orange gaskets.This week #MadeInSandwell Monday is celebrating the expansion plans of Stephens Gaskets, a precision components manufacturer based on Alston Road in Oldbury. The company has just invested in a new 62,000 sq ft site, three times larger than its existing premises. The purchase was made possible by a £1.7m loan from Lloyds Bank.

Stephens Gaskets was founded in 1947 and specialises in gaskets, shims and washers. Still family-owned after three generations, the business also deals in sheeting, strip metal, shim foil, turned parts, plastic injection moulding and laser engraving. The company’s customers include classic car and vintage motorbike clubs, as well as automotive suppliers and manufacturers. Some of their products can also be found in Formula 1 racing cars.

Despite the challenges of the past twelve months, Stephens Gaskets has seen its turnover increase by 20 per cent and has taken on more staff. This is partly due to a shift in operations to making PPE for frontline workers, manufacturing both the headband and visor of face shields on site.

Manager Piers Baynton said: “We saw demand shoot up last year and it quickly became apparent we would need to relocate somewhere bigger if we wanted to keep growing our business.” The new site will enable Stephens Gaskets to meet rising demand and take on new business by increasing output by up to 50 per cent.

Mark Corfield, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “Stephens Gaskets has enjoyed growth during an uncertain time and this looks set to continue. We’re looking forward to helping them take the next step in their journey as they move into their new premises and look for new opportunities to expand. The West Midlands remains the country’s manufacturing heartland and it’s fantastic to see another homegrown firm enjoy such success.”

#MadeInSandwell Monday is a celebration of the talent and diversity within our borough. If you’re interested in being considered for a #MadeInSandwell Monday profile and having information about your organisation shared on Think Sandwell and through Twitter, read this.