International plastics company, Piovan, has opened its first UK operation in Bromsgrove, creating 11 new jobs in a deal managed by Birmingham-based property surveyors, Phoenix Beard.

Piovan has taken a 5,500 sq ft warehouse and office unit at the Silver Birches Business Park at Aston Fields on a five-year lease from owners, Atkins.

Nick Fox, Piovan general manager, said the site will be a location from which to supply Midlands manufacturers with capital equipment for the use of plastics.

Products produced by Piovan, an Italian-based company, include vacuum hopper loaders, and temperature control systems for plastic granules used in industrial processes. Dehumidifiers and gravimetric and volumetric dosing and blending machines have already been sold to clients such as Siemens Automotive in Telford.

He said: "Location is everything to us as our business involves importing and distribution.

"This is the first Piovan operation in the UK, which meant we had to rely on advisers who really under-stood our business needs and the local marketplace.

"Phoenix Beard was recommended and they've delivered exactly what we wanted. They took the time and trouble to understand our very specific requirements and propose solutions that were practical and flexible.

"For instance, we initially wanted a short-term lease, so Phoenix Beard arranged for the unit to be sub-let to us.

"It gave us a trial period, during which we were convinced it was the right base.

"They then negotiated a longer five-year lease for us, which gives the business and employees extra stability moving forward."

Christian Smith, agency surveyor at property consultants Phoenix Beard, explained that finding the right property for Piovan had not been easy.

"In our experience, the ratio of office to warehouse space in the same unit isn't necessarily the split that clients want.

"However, we knew this unit already had ample warehouse space (5,000 sq ft) and that there was potential for expansion above the offices, which gives Piovan plenty of flexibility to expand in the future.

"It's also great 11 new jobs have been created, especially when traditional manufacturing industries in the region seem to be struggling."