Textiles manufacturer projects multimillion turnover

Restrap, a high-growth technical cycle luggage and accessories manufacturer based in Leeds projects multimillion turnover after accessing local support from the LEP and the Manufacturing Growth Programme.

High-growth textiles manufacturer projects multimillion turnover after accessing business support programmes in the Leeds city region

Restrap Limited is a high-growth manufacturer, formed in 2010 by Nathan Hughes from his bedroom. The company designs and manufactures a wide range of technical cycle luggage and accessories for all kinds of cycle touring and outdoor pursuits. Their products range from panniers, rackless luggage solutions and backpacks to contract work. The products are sold on a B2B and B2C basis, in both the UK and overseas.

There has been a boom in the popularity of cycling, health and fitness recently. As a result, the business has experienced rapid growth which has brought about challenges such as needing to increase their capacity and productivity. To assist with their high-growth challenges, the business has utilised various support programmes available through Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) and the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP).

MGP provided capital grant funding toward the purchase of an auto stitching machine. David Whiteley, Manufacturing Growth Manager for MGP stated, “Nathan has done an exceptionally good job to bring the business this far. He has researched and implemented good manufacturing practices such as Cellular Manufacturing, MRP, Visual Management, Kanbans, and flow. We need to continue to help this business through the growth phases.”

Through the LEP’s Strategic Growth Programme (SGP) delivered by Oxford Innovation Advice, Restrap received fully funded business coaching. James Smith, Strategic Growth Manager for SGP, took the business through a diagnostic business review to ascertain their key areas for improvement, which were identified as change, people & skills. This is due to the rapid pace of growth that the company has enjoyed, and a requirement to recruit and train people in a timely and efficient manner, whilst also setting up appropriate structures within the business.

When Nathan reached out to the LEP, he wanted to support his staff as the company grows rapidly and develop a framework of support for his team. The output would be a high performing team, delivering significant growth within a scaled-up business.

Through SGP, Restrap recieved 8 days of fully funded consultancy support from their chosen expert: Tony Webster of Wayfinder UK. After an initial discussion, Tony agreed upon a project that would focus on a list of deliverables including people development, performance management techniques, introduction of appropriate KPIs, managing growth and scaling up.

James Smith stated, “‘It has been a pleasure to provide assistance via the Strategic Growth Programme to Nathan and his business. Tony Webster from Wayfinder, has developed a fantastic package of support that provides a framework for Restrap’s long term growth. Restrap is a great example of what can be achieved through collaborative business support and I would encourage business owners to get in touch to discuss how this could be accessed to help their own SMEs.”

The project has helped the team improve performance and grow production outputs. A large increase in headcount has also been recorded. Before the intervention of MGP and the LEP, the business had a headcount of approximately 40 FTE. This has nearly doubled to 75.

During 2021, the business moved in to a new, larger property and received capital grant funding through the LEP to support investments in new machinery. It is already close to outgrowing this and so is looking into options to take up further space.

Restrap’s future plans are focussed on continued growth. This includes the business making further investments in capital. MGP plans to provide more grant funding towards improving Restrap’s marketing and manufacturing. At present, Restrap’s order book is full for the next 12 months and they are projecting a £4.5 million turnover by mid-2022.

The Strategic Growth Programme is designed and delivered by Oxford Innovation Advice on behalf of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal - a £1 billion package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across the Leeds City Region.

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If you would like to apply for support or learn more about the Strategic Growth Programme, contact a member of the Oxford Innovation Advice Strategic Growth team directly or email your enquiry to the team.