The local economy is set for a big lift after SBD Apparel, a world-renowned brand for premium supports for strength sports, confirmed plans for a brand new 100,000 sq ft premises on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham.
The manufacturer has been awarded a £1.5m Business Investment Fund grant from the Sheffield City Region (SCR).
Queen’s Award-winning SBD Apparel has already grown its staffing tenfold and doubled turnover after relocating to Rotherham. The company manufactures premium performance clothing worn by elite strength and fitness athletes across the world and moved its offices and warehouses closer to its main factory in Rotherham. In the two years since relocating, SBD increased turnover by 160%, growing its workforce from four members of staff to 41.
The new £9m facility is expected to create 237 new jobs within three years of its completion. It will enable the company to bring its five existing buildings together in South Yorkshire to operate from one single site, whilst quadrupling its floor space.
The increased production capacity will mean SBD Apparel can take advantage of the immediate growth opportunities for the brand by bringing to market new products and expanding into new countries and other sports.
Benjamin Banks, Managing Director of SBD Apparel, said: “South Yorkshire is the ideal location for our new premises, and we are very excited to be growing our business here and creating a high number of new jobs in the area in the next 2-3 years. We chose Sheffield City Region as it is a fantastic central location with a great manufacturing infrastructure, affordable housing and a skilled local workforce.”
Benjamin adds: “The new premises are needed so we can expand our production output and take advantage of the market demand which will see our company grow significantly in the future. With the new premises, we will be able to extend our product range and to launch our brand in new countries, where we plan to increase our local distributors from 42 to 70 countries. It will also give us the production capacity to progress with developing creative new prototypes and bring exciting new products to market.”
“Another great benefit of these premises is that we will be able to expand to meet our future growth aspirations, so we won’t have to move again.”
SBD Apparel had intended to fund the project with cash reserves and 2020 profits, but the impact of COVID-lockdown created a barrier to the company’s planned growth.
James Muir, Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Chairman, said: “The new premises will give a massive boost not only to the company but also to the local economy. Without the BIF funding the project would have been unable to proceed, so it is fantastic news for SBD Apparel and for job creation in this region.”
Benjamin Banks explains: “Our trading in 2020 was impacted by the cancellation of events and the closures of gyms throughout the world, however we remain very optimistic about the future. It will be fantastic to have all our business divisions located in one place and we expect there will be local collaboration opportunities at the Advanced Manufacturing Park as this area is really developing its health and well-being specialism with centres like the AMID.”
Images: SBD Apparel / Harris Partnership