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26 January, 2021 - 16:01 By Tony Quested

Top of the glass! Norwich Aluminium growing fast

Rapid growth at Norwich-based glazing manufacturer, Norwich Aluminium Limited, has seen the company move to new 80 per cent larger premises and employ five new staff as it continues to fly the flag for UK manufacturing in construction.

Norwich Aluminium was established six years ago by Alex Warren. Working in the glazing industry at the time, he spotted an opportunity to move into aluminium – a material that was growing in popularity for commercial and architectural glazing. 

By re-mortgaging his house, Warren set up the company in a unit on White Lodge Trading Estate in Norwich next to other established brands such as Screwfix and SIG.

He says: “Using my knowledge of the PVC-U market, I could see the growing opportunity in aluminium. I knew that if I wanted to take the leap, I had to react quickly to market trends and invest properly. 

“The banks were not interested at the time so I raised the funds myself to get going and set up a small manufacturing facility in Norwich. We started with just three staff.”

Norwich Aluminium manufactures glazing for domestic and commercial projects. It recently completed glazing for new wards at the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital, some of which are currently being used as emergency COVID-19 wards. 

The company has worked on hundreds of projects across the country, ranging from new and existing schools and shop fronts to home renovations and commercial offices. It has also played a role in some high profile and stand-out architectural buildings. 

Recent projects have seen the company diversify and move further afield, reaching from Brighton to Edinburgh, to work with retained clients.

In December 2020, it set up subsidiary company Norwich Aluminium Trade Supply with a focus on manufacturing a quality aluminium product for other glazing companies involved in installation-only projects and looking for a reliable local supplier.

Norwich Aluminium now employs 30 full-time staff across the group. Having outgrown its premises, Alex has invested £340,000 to move to new 80 per cent larger offices and a bespoke manufacturing facility on the same industrial estate. 

The offices have been designed, manufactured and installed by spatial designer and event agency Production Bureau and comprise workspace and meeting rooms, as well as a staff canteen. 

The manufacturing premises include new top-of-the-range equipment and work benches to allow an increase in production, as well as a better space for the staff, who have been key to the success of the business.

Warren said: “In 2020 alone we manufactured over £3 million worth of aluminium glazing products for customers across the country. We are targeting a 30 per cent growth on that figure this year. 

“While the UK construction and manufacturing industries continue to struggle our future order book is looking very strong. We’re bucking the trend and still growing.”

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