Vickers chosen by Santander as “Breakthrough” advocates

The Santandar Breakthrough Moments box came to Leeds for a five-day festival of events, aimed at helping businesses with ambition.

The event played host to a number of selected local businesses as case studies, advocating the service and support scheme provided by Santandar for those businesses with a propensity for growth.

Pitched in City Square Leeds, the event was held to engage delegates with a number of seminars including employee engagement, a view of the economic landscape and women in business, as well as displaying the chosen cases, within the striking red pod, using video content, branding and business cases, one of which was Leeds based chemical manufacturing experts Vickers Laboratories.

Vickers Laboratories is a chemicals manufacturer and supplier that has outpaced the current lean economic climate with growth of 10 per cent a year since 2010, and with aggressive plans to continue on this growth path.

Up until recently, the 45-year-old business was family owned, however a 2010 management buyout saw a new team of Steve Foster, managing director; Paul Bottomley, commercial director; and Phil Constantine, Operations Director; take over.

Since then the business has diversified its revenue streams, including providing chemicals to the contact lens manufacturing industry as well as supplying school science labs and the TV and film industry.

Vickers supplied one million litres of ‘brown gloop’ to create the chocolate river in the 2004 Tim Burton remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and has also supplied other products for movies, including ‘asses’ milk for Universal Pictures’ Snow White and the Huntsman.

Steve Foster said: “In the last few years we expanded quickly, as well as diversifying our offering. Our search for bank funding brought us into contact with Santander relationship director Hardeep Thandi in May 2014, of the banks we talked to, one sent an email and the other [Santander], within days, sent three people who asked pertinent, intelligent questions, that made me think these people understood what manufacturers do.

“To then be approach by the bank to represent the region’s growing businesses in an event such as this was a no-brainer for us. Endorsement in the growth of the business and recognition such as this was an honour we just didn’t want to turn down and is a testament to the relationship we now have with Hardeep and his team.”

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Pictured are Hardeep Thandi, Riana Azam Steve Foster and Paul Bottomley

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