Staff and friends of the UK-based world leading manufacturer of the iconic wire fastener, Gripple, were in party mood to celebrate the transformation of its riverside factory in true unconventional Gripple style during the official opening by Sheffield’s Master Cutler Richard Edwards.
For the full afternoon there was live music, entertainment and food stalls at the Attercliffe factory, in which employee owned Gripple has invested GB£2 million (€2.2 million). Fifteen more jobs have been created, with more expected this year. Production of a wide range of the company’s products has increased by more than 10% using 35 high-tech cellular manufacturing machines capable of turning out 55 million Gripple wire fasteners annually, to be sold across Europe, United States and Australia alone.
Providing 7,000 square foot more production space than the original building, the reborn building allows Gripple to cope with its current growth in the UK market particularly. It has been dubbed the ‘industrial cathedral’ by the company, because of its ‘stained glass’ colour windows. Designed to establish a pleasant workplace, the new building is also one of the ‘greenest’ buildings with GB£350,000 spent on 400 solar panels to heat water drawn from the river Don, as well as a green wall of plants and a fish tank, which is home to some sizeable Koi. The gardens surrounding the extended building, with its curves and walls set at an eight degree angle to avoid conventional straight lines, were created and are now tended by homeless people supported by the charity Emmaus UK, who were paid by the company.
After declaring the ‘Cathedral’ officially open and taking a tour around the exceptional building the Master Cutler said: “I have seen Gripple develop over the last 20 years and I am in awe of the team who have grown the company through product development and innovation. The new building is wonderful, unique and I am sure a great place to work.”
Gripple still has its head office in the Old West Gun Works on Savile Street East in Sheffield and one of its sister companies, Loadhog, is on Hawke Street, also in Attercliffe.
Will joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine in 2007 and over the last 10 years has experienced every facet of the fastener sector - interviewing key figures within the industry and visiting leading companies and exhibitions around the globe.
Will manages the content strategy across all platforms and is the guardian for the high editorial standards that the Magazine is renowned.