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Middlesbrough glass firm, Crystal Galleries, is a cut above after funding boost


A family business which supplies glass and crystal for decorative products across Europe is expanding and creating new jobs after securing over £70,000 in new funding.

Crystal Galleries has created eight new jobs at its Middlesbrough HQ, significantly increased its warehouse space and invested in cutting-edge machinery to aid future growth.

Its expansion has been backed by £67,000 in funding from the Tees Valley Capital Grant, which was secured with support from North East firm Anderson Barrowcliff.

The Teesside-based chartered accountants and business advisory practice also enabled its client to access research and development tax rebates, extra banking facilities and debt funding from UK Steel Enterprises.

Crystal Galleries has invested £40,000 in expanding its warehouse from 15,000 to 23,000 sq ft and £27,000 on new machinery, including one of only three sub-surface laser engraving machines in the country.

The Company, which employs 67 people, registered 15% year-on-year growth in turnover in 2015/16 and is now on track for a record year in 2016/17.

Finance Director Joanne Lowes, whose father George Lowes founded the business in 1982, said: “The financial support we’ve received will facilitate our growth in the coming years. We’ve increased our product range and can now offer a much wider range of options to our customers, including sub-surface engraving and full colour photo printing on glass. We’ve also been able to reduce our lead time and increase our stock ahead of a busy 2017, in which we’ll be attending a number of major exhibitions.

“Anderson Barrowcliff has been instrumental in helping us to cement our position as the UK’s largest glass wholesaler. Our main contact, James Dale, has a wealth of knowledge that has unlocked a number of new opportunities. He is also supported by a team of experts in key specialist areas – and has a phenomenal network of contacts which we’ve greatly benefitted from.”

James Dale, partner at Anderson Barrowcliff, said: “Crystal Galleries has worked with us for over three years and we’ve witnessed a lot of change in that time as its growth has continued. We are delighted to have provided the expertise and strategic services needed to put the infrastructure in place for future expansion.”

Dave Budd, Chair of the Tees Valley Combined Authority, said: “Crystal Galleries is one of a number of companies benefiting from the Tees Valley Capital Grant, which is supporting businesses to grow and create jobs. It is great to hear that a Middlesbrough-based family business is going from strength to strength and demonstrating the determination and spirit of the region.”

Crystal Galleries was initially set up to meet local demand for sports trophies, wedding gifts and awards, before gradually expanding to supply to trade customers, including glass engravers, across Europe.

It now works with manufacturers in China, the US and Europe, as well as offering products from well known brands such as Waterford Crystal, Dartington Crystal, Mario Cioni and CrystalEdge.

Anderson Barrowcliff is a firm of chartered accountants and business advisors which has origins dating back over 100 years. For more information on its services and specialisms, visit www.anderson-barrowcliff.co.uk.

Twitter: @AndersnBarowclf and @CrystalGallerie

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