Formica GroupFormica Group is the only laminate manufacturer in the UK, and has two North East facilities, including a larger space in North Tyneside, that is home to a hardworking team of operatives and back-office staff.
Our team really cares. They’ve got a high passion for service, delivery and quality. And that comes through when you walk around the place.
Paul Foreman, Formica Group
The factory dates back to 1945, with a prominent location on the Coast Road, boasting easy access to the region’s major trunk roads, the A19 and A1. Paul Foreman, chief operating officer, explains why North Tyneside is the perfect location for the firm.
“We have assets here that are very unique to our industry, so skill-set and knowledge of that asset is particularly important.
“We don’t seem to struggle in attracting people. From a back-office point of view, our customer services team is multi-lingual. We’ve got 15 different languages in there, we always seem to be able to recruit those skills – we never struggle to find people who have the skill sets we need, both from a language point of view and a capability point of view in that team as well.
“In terms of operators, we’ve got a lot of tenured people here, who have been here for a long time. We’ve got quite a wide range of ages on the shop floor, from people who’ve just joined us to people in their mid to late sixties, and we always find the right people to put into the right roles.
“Our team really cares. They’ve got a high passion for service, delivery and quality. And that comes through when you walk around the place. It’s hard for me to articulate, but you’ve just got to see it out there, with the engagement of the guys on the shop-floor.”
Formica also benefits from North Tyneside’s excellent connectivity, with its closeness to major trunk roads, as well as the region’s port network.
“When you look at the geography of the UK, a lot of our customers are south of this location, and we have a good customer base in Scotland. A lot of our material goes down to big distributors in the Midlands, and south of the River Tyne, and the road connections here mean that’s simple and straightforward. A lot of our materials come in from overseas, so we make good use of the North East’s ports – Port of Tyne, Blyth, Tees. It’s great to have them on our doorstep.
“To sum up, we’ve been able to attract the right skill sets, there’s the right infrastructure, there’s plenty of spaces in the area suitable for business, and team that with the support we have had from North Tyneside Council, it’s a fantastic place for us to be based.”