Bristol based Blue Badge Company opened its new manufacturing facility on August 5. The opening ceremony was performed by fellow Dragons’ Den veteran Rob Law MBE, founder and CEO of Trunki, the brand behind the much loved children’s ride-on suitcase. Employees, friends, family and various local business owners attended the event and enjoyed drinks and nibbles in the sun.
Dragons’ Den veteran Rob Law MBE, founder and CEO of Trunki:
“I was delighted to be asked to open this fantastic new facility for Blue Badge Company, which is not only proudly manufacturing in Bristol, but providing employment opportunities to those who struggle to find work due to their personal circumstances and wish Ellen and company all the best in their next chapter of growth”, commented Rob.
The new 1200 sq ft premises in St Gabriel’s Business Park, Easton, Bristol has the capacity for future expansion and will enable the company to increase production of its range of blue badge wallets and accessories. The move will ensure the company can offer an even greater service to customers and retailers in the UK and overseas.
To guarantee the new facility met all the necessary requirements, Managing Director Ellen Green employed a local company to construct a purpose built workroom to accommodate the manufacturing department as well as a suite of offices. Future plans include building a second storey by the end of 2016.
Managing Director Ellen Green, comments:
“It was such an honour to have Rob Law officially open our new premises. I very much admire and respect his approach to leadership and innovative thinking and I aspire to follow in his footsteps as a pioneering Bristol based entrepreneur. We are both Dragons’ Den alumni and committed to British manufacturing so it’s very humbling to have Rob involved with the latest chapter in the story of Blue Badge Company.
“My appearance on Dragons’ Den was a great stepping stone in terms of raising awareness of the company, and orders have increased month on month since the show aired and our online business has increased by 50%. We are now selling through many large retailers including Argos, Boots and Lloyds and all these contributing factors made the move to larger purpose built premises a necessity to accommodate this growth and our future plans.”
Ellen is extremely passionate about inclusive employment and equal opportunities. Blue Badge Company provides specialist employment and training for people with learning disabilities, mental health issues, physical disabilities and long-term health issues. Because of the way they manufacture they have created work opportunities ideal for primary caregivers and those with domestic responsibilities. The company currently has 15 permanent members of staff of which five are registered disabled and four are primary caregivers (over 50% of the workforce). There are an additional five staff who work part time on a flexible basis.
Managing Director Ellen Green, concludes:
“I believe a company is only as strong as the team behind it. Providing work for people who find it more difficult to access employment really boosts personal confidence and team moral. One thing that has always driven me is the idea that business has a responsibility to be good for society and I’ve discovered that a rewarding, sustainable job can change someone’s life – I’ve seen it first hand and it is the part of my company that I am most proud of.”
For more information on the full range of products available from Blue Badge Company, please visit www.bluebadgecompany.co.uk or call 0117 9413791.