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Workforce will double at site of Willenhall lockmakers

Walsall | News | Published:

The site of an historic lock-making firm is being taken over by a growing manufacturing business which will double its workforce, it emerged today.

The former Willenhall Locks factory has been bought by 1st Access UK Ltd which is also based in the town and is investing £100,000 in the first expansion phase.

The company, which was set up six years ago by Willenhall-born ex firefighter Jason Loydon and his partner Vikki Lindop, had a £2 million turnover last year and currently employs around 25 workers.

And the pair plan to retain features such as old locks, light switches and pictures to keep the heritage of the former factory alive.

Staffing is anticipated to double within five years as part of the relocation into the bigger former lock firm premises between Stringes Lane and John Harper Street.

The site, which had been put on the market for more than £300,000, was bought for an undisclosed sum ahead of an auction.

Willenhall Locks and Keys Ltd suddenly fell into administration in September, having been a key feature in the town since opening in the late 1950s. Twenty eight jobs were lost when the historic firm shut.

A major renovation project will be carried out early this year with the aim of moving in around April.

The firm specialises in creating roller shutter doors, shopfronts and automatic doors from its current base in Spring Road.

The move will see its floorspace increase from around 8,000 sq ft to 31,000 sq ft and help build on its success. Clients include Tesco, Lidl and Holland & Barretts.

Director Miss Lindop, aged 35, said: "We have got to renovate it but it will be a massive expansion for is, we have got big plans for the next five years. We are looking at doubling the workforce."

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