�0.5 million investment as medical supply company looks to the future


Medasil, the Leeds-based manufacturer of surgical grade silicone products used in operating theatres around the world, is celebrating its 40th year in business this year with plans for further expansion and growth.

After record sales year 2013, which saw the company record 15% growth, Medasil is investing in new technology to standardise manufacturing processes and will double its floorplate by refurbishing and expanding into adjoining premises.

The investment, totalling £0.5 million, includes £250,000 for new machinery and creating a dedicated area for the curing of silicone products; medical grade silicone is the raw material used in most of the company’s manufacturing processes.

Medasil has been offered a £10,000 grant from the Leeds City Region Business Growth Programme, set up with government support to help businesses expand and create jobs, to help with the investment in this part of the business.

Medasil was created in 1974 by Rueben Vincent and is now owned by Carole Vincent-Wright. The £2 million turnover business employs 42 staff and is managed by John Barry McLeod.

“Our aim is to continue growing the business and make it sustainable for another 40 years,” says McLeod, who joined the company a year ago and brought with him 20 years of experience in the industry, having worked for global giants such as Johnson & Johnson, Tyco Healthcare (now Covidien) and Trulife Group.

In the UK Medasil sells direct to the NHS and NHS Logistics but it is also represented in 16 countries across Australasia, the Middle East and Europe, including Turkey where it has just opened a new distributorship. “We are the only UK medical devices company exporting to China,” McLeod proudly points out.

For the first time later this year, the company plans to bring all its overseas distributors to the UK to celebrate the 40th anniversary.

Medasil has weathered the storm of competition from low cost manufacturing based overseas by keeping manufacturing costs down, and placing consistent emphasis on quality and reliability of service.

MacLeod explained: “Silicone is a difficult material to work with and there is a great deal of expertise, skill and experience involved in our production techniques. Though what we produce is relatively low tech, it is of a very high quality, and an indispensable aid to surgeons in many operating procedures.

"Silicone is also a wonderful material and because of its inert quality, it can be utilised in most surgical situations, minimising possible damage to tissue. For example, nerve and vessel retractors, which resemble fine elastic cords, are used for the necessary displacement of nerves and vessels during certain operations.

“We are working tirelessly to create a highly skilled workforce. To enable the business to prosper and survive for another 40 years, we need to continue to develop those skills for the future,” says MacLeod.

To help facilitate this, the company is investing heavily in its workforce, and has just introduced an internal training programme developed with support from EEF and the University of Leeds.

Roger Marsh, chair of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership said: “Medasil is a highly innovative manufacturing business committed to long term, sustainable growth and a fantastic example of the kind of company the business growth programme was set up to support. The LEP committed £10,000 to help the business grow the workforce and invest in new technology.

"I’d like to extend my congratulations to Carole, John and their team as they celebrate 40 years in business and wish them every success as the business builds for the future.”