When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Darwen based MD says firms must now invest to improve economy
9:35am Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in News
THE managing director of Darwen-based Herbert Parkinson has set out an ambitious blueprint for growth for the firm, and is encouraging other businesses to be more aspirational.
As the manufacturing arm of John Lewis, Herbert Parkinson is a market-leading soft furnishings specialist, and has been operating in Darwen since the business was established in 1934. It now employs more than 260.
Stuart McDonald said: “The economy is certainly showing signs of a steady recovery. We’ve had stronger than expected growth in manufacturing and construction in the last quarter.
“There’s a lot to be confident about, and it’s time businesses started investing again so we can grow the local economy.”
John Lewis has thrown its support behind British manufacturing, setting a two year, 15 per cent revenue growth target from sales of goods made in the UK. It is hoping Herbert Parkinson can spearhead a renaissance in ‘Made in Britain’ products, nationally and internationally.
Stuart said: “We’ve invested more than £1million in developing two new services for customers to keep ourselves well ahead of the competition: customers can now order any shape or upholstery with any fabric they want, and we have extended our seven-day turnaround offer to our made to order blinds.
“With such strength behind the ‘Made in Britain’ label, we’re also able to place a substantial amount of resource into innovation, which only diversifies our product range further, and keeps us on the crest of the wave.”
Investment in people is just as important as investment in infrastructure and innovation in Stuart’s view.
He said: “People are the most important asset a business has. Treat them well and give them ownership of a business and it could be the catalyst for growth a business needs.
“As part of John Lewis, our partners have a say in the operations and strategy of the business.
“Personal and professional development is a core part of our partners’ working lives. They are the heart of the business.”
Stuart is also throwing support behind Hive – Blackburn and Darwen’s powerful network of business leaders.
“While we’re part of the John Lewis Partnership, we’re still very much a Lancashire based business, and proud of our roots.
“What I like about Hive is that it encourages businesses to share their experiences of facing challenges, risks and opportunities.
“I’d hope being part of one of the UK’s most respected brands, the information we would share would be of assistance to other Blackburn and Darwen businesses.
“Hive is a great initiative, and an increased level of communication between businesses at a localised level can only lead to a stronger local economy – and that would be great news for everyone.”
Comments are closed on this article.