One of Ludlow’s most significant employers, Flowfit, is on the verge of signing a deal for expanding its business in Wales. This move comes after Shropshire Council has failed to help the company find a site in Ludlow.
Simon Parsonage is Chief Executive of Flowfit, a market leader in everything hydraulic, from distribution to systems and manufacturing has been based on Ludlow Business Park and celebrates 25 years in business in June.
At the beginning of the year, Simon contacted Shropshire Council’s Business Growth team. Flowfit has been expanding and wanted to expand further on an adjacent vacant site owned by Shropshire Council or a site close by.
Although there were promises to help from council officers, after more than three months Flowfit has not received a valid response. It is now at the point of signing up to expanding on a site in Wales.
“I run a successful company. A company that needs to expand. And like all companies, we have welcomed the advice and support that comes from bodies such as the Local Enterprise Partnership and local councils.
“We are desperate to expand and our preferred option is to find an additional site near to our current premises on Parys Road.
“But when it comes to the nitty gritty, the everyday practicalities of doing business, Shropshire Council seems at times to be in a state of paralysis.
“I am totally frustrated that after three months of trying to get help from Shropshire Council, all I have received is emails that say no more than “we’ll get back to you”.
“If I can’t find a site in Ludlow quickly, we will expand in Wales which seems to have a more business friendly environment.”
Andy Boddington is Shropshire Council for Ludlow North. He says:
“I am shocked that Shropshire Council has not put more effort into help one of Ludlow’s most successful companies. We have spare employment land in Ludlow, some of which is owned by Shropshire Council and near the current Flowfit premises.
“We councillors spent months discussing Local Economic Growth Strategies for the market towns, including for Ludlow. But that process shuddered to a halt a year ago.
“Business don’t need talk. They don’t need policies lost in filing cabinets. They need action.”
An expert in hydraulic sourcing since 1996, Flowfit is now a market leader in everything hydraulic, from distribution to systems and manufacturing. Flowfit’s first office was an old miner’s home in Cinderford, Gloucestershire, with one employee. Within 6 months, its operations had moved to a 400 square foot unit in Ludlow. By 2015, Flowfit’s facilities had expanded to its current 28500 square foot site, which comprises the head office, shop, engineering and warehouse facilities and, more importantly its employees. In November 2018, it added 8,500 square foot of extra warehousing on two sites in Ludlow.
Flowfit’s ethos is to provide ‘everything hydraulic’ for its vast customer base. From parts and systems to bespoke designs, the dedicated and knowledgeable team at Flowfit can meet any hydraulic demand. There is a solution to every problem, and Flowfit has the answer.