Reabrook Celebrates 50 Years and moves to Employee Ownership

Reabrook Ltd celebrated three landmark achievements on Friday 14th September at its site in Moira.

It celebrated 50 years of business, the opening of its factory extension with brand-new aerosol line and its transfer to Employee Ownership.

Joint Managing Director of Reabrook, Tony Brealey commented “We firmly believe that empowered and engaged employees, who care deeply about the products they make, are vital to a company’s ongoing success. Employee Ownership is the perfect way to reward our loyal staff and to secure the long-term future of the Moira site.”

Reabrook and its workforce of over 200 employees celebrated these momentous occasions with a distinguished group of key-suppliers, customers and local dignitaries at the ceremony held at their purpose-built site.

Visitors were treated to a tour of the site before joining employees to witness the opening of their new aerosol building by local MPs, Heather Wheeler and Andrew Bridgen. They were also given the opportunity to walk across to Boothorpe Wood, part of The National Forest, where Reabrook had sponsored the planting of 42,000 trees. The celebrations culminated with the owners Tony and Mary Brealey and Malcolm and Sue Watkins completing the transfer of the ownership of the company to its employees.

Malcolm Watkins, Joint Managing Director explained that employee ownership was in harmony with Reabrook’s core philosophies about how business should be managed; encouraging and building a workforce that takes pride in what it does and is responsive to its customers’ needs.

According to the Employee Ownership Association, the number of employee-owned businesses in the UK is currently growing at an annual rate of 10%. The benefits of giving employees a greater voice is a key part of the government’s recommendations for improved corporate governance.

The company started in 1968 as Arrow Chemicals, based in Swadlincote, supplying a range of liquid products for the industrial market. The business has grown over the years to fill products into aerosols and tubes as well as conventional liquid packaging; supplying a wide range of markets from oil, gas and automotive through to haircare and toiletries. Fifty years later, Reabrook is still supplying innovative products for commercial, industrial and retail applications throughout the world and is aiming to double its business over the next five years.

Investment in a larger aerosol manufacturing facility and new filling line is essential to achieve this growth. Strong support from HSBC UK has provided the finance to purchase the new £1.3m aerosol production line and also a £1m loan to enable the transition to employee ownership to take place. Roger Pratt, HSBC’s Area Director in East Midlands, said: “HSBC UK is innovating to meet evolving customer expectations and needs. Reabrook is on an exciting journey at the moment and we wanted to support the business as it looks to fulfil its growth ambitions and the successful integration of its new employee owned trust. We wish everyone at the business the best of luck as they celebrate Reabrook’s 50th birthday.”