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Spinlock expands factory and staffing levels as demand for innovative products continues

by Sarah Griffin on 4 Oct 4 October 2017
Apprentices Callum, Alex and Myles busy working in the Spinlock production facility in Cowes on the Isle of Wight © Spinlock

Spinlock, designers and manufacturers of rope holding equipment and personal safety products for leisure and commercial water users, are celebrating continued growth in 2017 and the expansion of their Cowes-based factory.

The recent installation of new machinery and resultant increase in capacity at their factory is a positive development for the Queen's Award-winning company, who have seen sales exports increase to 25 countries in 2017 and an overall increase in staff of 20% since 2016.

Spinlock's Operation Director Caroline Senior said: "We are continually reviewing processes to improve the flow of goods and have upgraded the site accordingly. We have made significant investment in machinery, time, and staff - employing three full time staff for this operation with additional new staff joining the team due to continued strong sales. There is a great buzz around our two Cowes sites as we have welcomed the new team members to Spinlock."

In addition to the factory expansion, Spinlock is continuing its tradition of training and employing apprentices, working closely with the Isle of Wight College to support them. Two former apprentices have become full-time assembly operators at the factory; one now has a full-time job in the design department and two new apprentices began their journey with Spinlock in 2017. The apprentices joining the team bring the current staffing levels to 50 across the Spinlock factory and design headquarters in Cowes.

Duncan Thomson, NVQ Assessor at the Isle of Wight College, said: "It's critical that our apprentices are based with supportive employers and Spinlock is dedicated to ensuring that their apprentices gain a high level of skills, experience and training. By working together, we support the apprentice to achieve their qualification and to also gain the crucial skills required for the workplace. Employers like Spinlock value the role of an apprentice in terms of growing their business and planning for the future and provide invaluable opportunities for young people."

The factory expansion comes during a year that has seen Spinlock work exclusively for Great Britain's America's Cup competitors Land Rover BAR as Official Technical Suppliers creating the bespoke T2 lifejacket worn during their campaign. Spinlock are also Official Supplier to the Volvo Ocean 65 Class for the 2017-18 edition Volvo Ocean Race, including developing a custom lifejacket harness exclusively for the Volvo Ocean Race sailors. 2017 has also seen Spinlock awarded with the Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation, with a presentation of the award at the production facility being held in September.

Spinlock's CEO Chris Hill adds: "2017 has been another successful year for Spinlock. It is testament to our dedicated workforce that we can not only work with the world's best sailing events, but can simultaneously press forward with our expansion plans to meet the ever-growing demand for our products."

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