Black Country Reinvestment Society (BCRS) has helped a Brownhills-based staircase manufacturer to diversify into high-end interiors for the domestic and corporate markets.
BCRS has loaned Lichfield Staircase Manufacturers £25,000 to develop the company’s bespoke staircase range for architects and interior designers.
Lichfield Staircase Manufacturers (LSM), who employ six people at their Chase Road site, was established as a sole trader in 1989. The company decided to diversify when the steel fabrications side of their business began to show signs of slowing and re-launched as LSM in 2007.
“We already make a high-quality range of steel staircases and our clients include West Bromwich Albion, HSBC, Interserve, Thomas Vale and Moss Bros”, said managing director Paul Revill.
“We came up with the idea of bespoke staircases to fit different styles of interiors when we realised that most modern staircases offer little choice in design. We felt that there was enormous scope for a stylish, decorative range of staircases that could be tailored to the client’s exact requirement, whether for business, leisure or even the client’s own home.”
LSM have also manufactured the staircases at the Ramada Birmingham North at Cannock, together with the exterior steelwork that tops out the landmark building by the M6 Toll at Cannock. Fred Pritchard, chief executive of Pritchard, who own the Ramada and the surrounding Orbital Plaza, said: “LSM are local to us and the company fits in with our belief in supporting the regional economy and buying local wherever we can. The Ramada is an iconic landmark on the gateway to the M6 Toll and I’m proud to say that we sourced a company just down the road to provide us with the high quality required.”
The company has produced new patented designs, including Arcana, which imitates bamboo. “I had the idea over a cocktail or two while I was on holiday in Hawaii”, said Mr Revill. “Our balcony was contained by traditional tied bamboo balustrades, and I thought ‘why not make something like that to withstand the British winter’? So, on return, we put together a steel prototype handrail and balustrade that replicates the ridged shape of bamboo.
“We have shown this to owners of Oriental restaurants and the response has been ‘yes, please, NOW! This and other shapes and styles can be worked into other designs with an outdoor feel for gardens, conservatories and swimming pool areas. The basis of each design is steel tube, so it’s perfect for other applications including bed frames and furniture. We can make any shape of staircase to any specification. There are endless permutations on the designs and we are very keen to work with architects and interior designers for contract and domestic applications. The steel finish can be retained for a contemporary look, or we can offer a tough powder-coated finish in any colour to match any interior or exterior. All of our product, from CAD through tooling to manufacture and finishing, is carried out at our premises in Brownhills.”
Steve Grice, business development manager for BCRS, said: “We were introduced to LSM by Greg McCall of Barclays Bank’s Walsall branch. LSM already bank with Barclays but Greg, although supportive, was unable to help and recommended BCRS. We are delighted to be able to loan them £25,000 to progress the business and explore new markets. LSM are the perfect example of a company who have realised that they need to remain competitive to survive and have gone about it in exactly the right way, seeking advice from experts, doing their homework, focusing on R&D and developing a product that is unique, flexible and adaptable and looks fantastic.”