Chester-le-Street-based metalwork firm sets out ambitious plans to expand with a new online brand.
Family-run company, Steelcraft Ltd, specialises in supplying architectural metalwork with a portfolio including balconies, railings, gates, handrails, stairs, ramps and secondary steelwork.
Through the launch of its new online brand, Forjj, the company will offer ready-made products, manufactured in its premises in Chester-le-Street, throughout the UK and Europe.
The move is expected to increase the company’s turnover by 5% in the first year, equivalent to about £90,000.
Matthew Rodgers, Managing Director, said: “It’s great for us to have found a way to sell outside of north east England without needing to establish a physical office in another region. This means that the future expansion of our manufacturing operations can stay in the North East and provide more jobs and supplier opportunities in the region.”
Steelcraft accessed support from Digital Drive County Durham, a programme part financed by the European Regional Development Fund to help businesses in the area make best use of digital technology.
Matthew said: “We’ve had the idea for this project sitting in a file for years. Advice and funding support from Digital Drive inspired me to dust it off and modernise the plan for 21st century purchasing habits.”
The first range of Forjj products available are Juliet balconies, narrow railings that sits outside a window or French doors on the upper storey of a building, and they have plans to expand the product range swiftly over the course of the next year.
Dave Armstrong, Technical Director, explained: “The balcony styles on the website are just a small selection from our portfolio. New balcony designs will soon follow and 2019 will see products such as railings and gates added to the catalogue."
Customers can order balconies to be delivered direct to their door straight from the workshop. Instructions and advice are provided to allow for self-installation, or to be passed to the tradesperson or contractor.
Digital Drive County Durham is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Business Durham, which works on behalf of Durham County Council, and private investment, and forms part of the wider Digital Durham initiative to transform broadband speeds for residents and businesses across the North East. For more information and to register visit www.digitaldrivedurham.co.uk