Leaderflush Shapland still alive in Barnstaple

Leaderflush Shapland staff outside their new premises at Regent House, Barnstaple.

Leaderflush Shapland staff outside their new premises at Regent House, Barnstaple. - Credit: Archant

More than 50 office staff continue to be employed in the town as the company moves to new premises.

TRIBUTES have been paid to the dedication of Leaderflush Shapland workers whose efforts have ensured the company continues to employ people in Barnstaple.

In November the Anchorwood Bank factory closed, but 52 staff are keeping the company name alive in the town with the relocation to a new home at Regent House in Queen Street.

The office staff, who deal with sales, estimates and scheduling, remain a vital part of the business, says Rob Llewellyn, Barnstaple pre-production director.

The manufacturing side of the business may now be based in Nottingham, but Mr Llewellyn said the staff remaining owe much to those who were made redundant.

“It was a sad day last year when the site closed, but I think it is important to recognise the legacy that people left,” he told the Gazette.

“It is because of the pride of our workforce and their skills that the legacy remains – they should be proud of what they have done in Barnstaple, as we are.

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“The move to Nottingham was no reflection on the people and skills, it was a business decision.”

The closure of the former Oliver building last year brought to an end 159 years of furniture manufacture by the historic Shapland and Petter, then in recent years as Leaderflush Shapland.

Mr Llewellyn said despite the recession, the business as whole had seen a ‘positive trend’ of increased sales and steady growth. He said there was capacity to increase the number of staff at the Barnstaple office, although there are no immediate plans to do so.

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