GC Business Growth Hub helps RBMUK see barriers as a breakthrough

Date published: 18 August 2020

An Oldham-based manufacturer is helping businesses get back on track after COVID-19 disruption, through innovative product development in collaboration with GC Business Growth Hub.

Rotational Bespoke Manufacturing (RBMUK) Limited - based in Chadderton - has adapted two of its existing products to provide protective barriers and hand-sanitising stations for industry, to reduce the risk of cross-contamination in workplaces and offer businesses a blueprint for safely returning to work.

Like many SMEs across the region, RBMUK was forced to radically scale back its operation in March, when the Government issued wide-ranging restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 across the country.

Having recently concluded its fifth and most successful financial year in February 2020, RBMUK saw major orders cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak and was forced to furlough the majority of its staff, weathering a significant operating loss in March.

Having benefitted from a broad range of Hub support services over the past three years, RBMUK’s Director Tony Douglas was quick to reach out to manufacturing advisor Martin Hyman.

Tony and Martin identified an opportunity to adapt one of RBMUK Limited’s existing moulded products into a protective screening solution for enforcing social distancing within workplaces.

Martin also signposted a Hub-facilitated webinar for local businesses to share best practice in mitigating the effects of COVID-19.

Hosted by Oldham MPs Jim McMahon and Debbie Abrahams, the webinar and connected Tony with another local business – D Atkinson Ltd – who were able to provide an essential element of the newly-conceived barrier system.

Following a surge in public sector orders for a pyramid barrier system, RBMUK is now returning to full operational capacity and welcomed back its remaining furloughed employees in June.

Mr Douglas said: “We’re extremely grateful for the support provided by the Hub during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, and indeed over the past three years.

"Having an advisor and team on hand who really understand our business – as well as the wider manufacturing industry - has been invaluable in helping us get our business back on track.

“The Hub’s local network has provided a perfect platform for collaboration and innovation, which has helped us get all our people back to work safely and our order book growing again.”

Mr Hyman added: “It’s incredibly rewarding to see businesses like RBMUK Limited find their feet again after facing unprecedented challenges in recent months.

"We’ve always found them to be extremely proactive and open to new ideas, helping them benefit from the diverse support on offer from local partners.

“No business in Greater Manchester should feel they need to face these challenges alone.

"The GC Business Growth Hub is here to help stabilise businesses in the short term, protecting income and employment across all sectors - and to help get your growth ambitions back on track for the future.”

Businesses looking for support can visit the GC Business Growth Hub Coronavirus microsite at: www.businessgrowthhub.com/Coronavirus or get in touch for more advice and support by emailing: BGH@growthco.uk, or call 0161 237 4127.

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