A company celebrating ten years since its perfectly timed reinvention has gone on to become a market leader and a true success story for County Durham and the North East.
Redditch Medical chose just the right time and the right place to move forward – seeing it innovate, grow, progress - and soar to new heights.
Today it provides cleanroom contamination control products to the life science industry across the world.
Its ‘made-in-the-UK’ products are sold globally from Australia and Japan to Costa Rica, a true success story for the region.
Redditch was originally born out of Entaco, a company with 300 years of manufacturing experience that started as a sewing needle maker in 1740.
At the turn of the 20th Century, as medical science progressed, the company moved into manufacturing surgical and tattoo needles.
As part of Entaco, in recent years, the company focussed on the manufacture of medical devices – and the rest, as they say, is history…
However, everything changed when Redditch decided the time was right to innovate, expand its products and markets to open a base at NETPark science and technology park at Sedgefield.
The company installed clean rooms and began to develop a wide range of cleanroom disinfectant and detergent products, gradually expanding its product range, footprint and number of employees.
Steve Brown, Managing Director of Redditch said: “This was a new market for us, a completely new venture to dip our toe into. By driving innovation, we have been able to learn more about the industry and develop the product range.
Business Durham, Durham County Council’s business team, which runs NETPark helped the firm get funding for the new venture and helped to secure angel investment.
After steady growth, along came the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for the Redditch ‘InSpec’ products became even more imperative almost overnight, and Redditch were perfectly placed to meet Customer needs.
Steve said: “It was a time when the industry relationships we had developed over many years came into play. Chemicals were in high demand - those connections meant we were able to source critical materials and react quickly to the market.
“As a business, we put on additional shifts and were nimbler and more flexible than other manufacturers.
“We currently employ 55 people and have just taken on two apprentices who have a desire to learn our industry and are an excellent addition to the team.”
Although caused by a devastating event in world history the change in the market created by the pandemic also led Redditch to be able to innovate more quickly and efficiently - using its cleanrooms to develop and bring to market more products needed by the life science industry.
Rob Lewis, Head of Sales, who has 20 years’ experience in the cleanroom contamination industry, explained: “Redditch Medical is just at the beginning of its new journey. We have already increased our footprint two or three times and can only see more growth in the future.
“In in three to five years we will have additional machinery and plan to commission microbiology test laboratories and warehousing in order to secure future growth and fulfil Customer demand.”
The next stage of the journey will be taken by Redditch Medical as a stand-alone Limited company – having become a sister to its former parent company Entaco in November 2021.
Now fully occupied NETPark is set to move into a third phase of development with work on a £61m expansion project, doubling its size, due to start shortly. It will provide the opportunity for firms like Redditch Medical to grow while freeing off smaller units for new firms to move into.
Steve said: “We will definitely be considering Phase 3 of NETParks development. We were able to give the right image as a professional organisation in the tech industry to gain the buy in we needed.
“NETPark is a fantastic place to do business in terms of facilities, potential for growth and for collaboration”.
The company is now taking a close look at sustainability – a problematic area for a company that produces goods that are by their very nature single use items, for example one-off items used in surgery.
Rob said: “Companies face a lot more corporate responsibility obligations than they used to, and Redditch works hard to establish the best possible outcomes in terms of green credentials bearing in mind the constraints we operate under.
“In working towards net zero targets we are able to look at packaging and processes - using more recycled materials and different methods to improve environmental efficacy.”
And, with its record of innovation and new thinking there’s no reason to doubt that Redditch won’t be leaders in the field of sustainability in contamination control products in time for its next ten year anniversary.