Bridlington’s job market has received a huge boost after a manufacturing company secured two multi-million pound contracts from two leading European retailers.
Staff at Bee Health Ltd in Carnaby celebrated the creation of over 50 new jobs with Bridlington MP Sir Greg Knight, who visited on Friday to open a new manufacturing suite.
And with the arrival of a new £500,000 machine - only the second of its kind in the UK - which produces soft gel capsules, managing director Steve Ryan expects Bee Health’s profits to grow by 60% over the coming year.Mr Ryan, who started Bee Health 20 years ago, said: “It is great to be a quality British manufacturer. I hope this will encourage people to stay in the area, I hope we can attract some people that are working away to come back and work here.”
The new Sky 660 machine, one of seven in the world, makes gelatine pockets into which liquid, such as Cod Liver Oil and Evening Primrose Oil, is pumped to make capsules which will be sold on the high street.
Mr Ryan explained the company’s recent success mirrors a growing trend in manufacture returning to British shores from Asia.
He said: “We are already making plans to expand the factory because most of the work is coming back from abroad, back from China.
“All major retailers have come back from abroad and have come back to making products in Britain.
“Reshoring is probably 80% of our growth. We grew 30% last year and 4% the year before.
“It is great news that it is all coming back from abroad. If it happening in our sector that is awesome. At the end of the day it puts people in jobs.”
However, the sudden increase in production (the machine can make a million 400mg capsules in four hours) will not be an easy transition for Bee Health.
Mr Ryan said: “It means about 60% growth this year which is quite a challenge. It is going to be manic, it takes a lot of skill to take a business up by 60% in one year and we are just going to be careful.
“We already envisage getting another machine.
“We are already being asked to quote for some of the biggest businesses.”
Bridlington MP Sir Greg said: “I was delighted to be able to open their new manufacturing facility. I was fascinated to see how they do it and delighted to be able to officially declare the factory extension open and wave the flag for the fact that they have got job vacancies.
“They have got everything going for them. I think in this day and age people lead very busy lives and more and more people do take vitamin supplements so I think they have a growing market.
“I think it is confirmation, together with other things, that the economy is at last picking up and that many are saying we have a good labour market in the UK.”
Neil Watson, chair of Bridlington’s Chamber of Trade, said: “An increase of jobs in the area, particularly more in the manufacturing. They are going to be trained whereas one of the issues in the UK is that businesses have a tendency to recruit the people with exactly the skills they want.
“It is important to diversify Bridlington. It used to be based on two industries - fishing and the holiday industry. Both have changed dramatically.
“They have survived through innovation but if you are reliant on one or two industries we have problems if one fails.”
In regard to the movement of manufacturing back to the UK, Mr Watson said: “What is happening is that the supply chains in the far east are becoming more expensive and a bit more risky so more businesses are starting to create business in the UK to reduce risk of accident.”