A large-scale laundry business - which received help from Birmingham City Council to get off the ground 28 years ago - has again benefitted from local authority assistance to help it grow.
Tyseley-based Zip Textile Services, which provides commercial laundry service to the hospitality sector, has completed an 18,500 sq ft extension as part of an expansion programme which will also see the creation of 40 new jobs.
The £3.6 million project was made possible thanks to more than £500,000 of funding from Birmingham City Council’s Tyseley Property Assistance Programme (TPAP) via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Funding is only available via the programme for small and medium-sized enterprises in the Tyseley Environmental Enterprise District, to facilitate capital improvement works to industrial and commercial premises and related investment in fixed plant and equipment.
The release of the funding meant the scheme could go ahead this year, otherwise it could have taken up to another five years for it to happen.
Zip Textile Services was established in 1987 by managing director Tariq Mahmood, who also received help from the city council to set the company up.
Speaking about the firm’s recent expansion, Mr Mahmood said: “It is all down to the help of Birmingham City Council.
“Without the support they gave us we wouldn’t have got to this point - it would have taken us years.”
The business, based at Redfern Parkway, currently employs 130 staff, most of whom live in the local area.
Its 2.3-acre site was purchased in 2005 and half was developed as part of the company’s 2006/2007 expansion into Tyesley.
It saw the creation of a purpose-built 29,171 sq ft facility representing an investment of £5.9 million.
Further expansion became essential as the firm had reached capacity. It was unable to tender for additional work and was even being forced to turn some away.
It wanted to develop the remaining 1.2 acres of its site and create a new access road off Redfern Parkway.
The ‘gap funding’ of £506,000 from the Tyseley Property Assistance Programme helped facilitate the development, along with bank support.
It is expected to boost the company’s annual turnover by 30 per cent.
Mr Mahmood said the new facility would enable the firm to expand its core business catering to the hotel industry.
“At the moment we can cover around a 65 mile radius from the Midlands, but we are aiming to extend that to an 85-90 mile radius,” he said.
“A lot of hotel groups we deliver to have a national contract so we will now be able to tender for national contracts.
“This gives us the efficiency we needed. We can work a lot quicker and faster and aim to grow as we go along.”
He added that the firm now expected to create an additional 40-45 jobs over the next 12 months.
Zip Textile Services’ growth comes after difficult times during the downturn.
Mr Mahmood said: “We did suffer but we managed to get through it. The relationship we had with our former bank became quite difficult during the recession but thankfully our new bankers came along, Lloyds TSB as was, who have supported us all the way through.”
Councillor Tahir Ali, Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for development, transport and the economy, said: “Zip Textile Services is a real success story for Birmingham, having been established with assistance from the city council and now, nearly three decades later, we are helping it to continue growing through this latest development, which would not have happened at this time without this support from the Tyseley Property Assistance Programme.
“I am also delighted that this project has also enabled the company to take on a further 40 employees and safeguard the future of their existing 130 staff.”