With the North West’s recovery from the pandemic well and truly underway, firms across the region appear to be moving at pace in a bid to grow and prosper.
It was revealed this week that the region has seen the strongest business activity growth in over 24 years as lockdown restrictions continue to ease – and a whole host of firms in sectors from e-commerce to Covid testing have wasted no time in making big job announcements.
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Here are 21 companies from across the region who have made big job creation announcements in recent weeks:
Greater Manchester-based musicMagpie is adding hundreds of jobs over the next three years after it completed its float on AIM recently.
The online retailer, which resells the likes of second-hand phones, currently employs more than 1,000 people in the UK and US.
Founded in 2007, the group has operations in Stockport and in the US in Atlanta, Georgia.
The company’s expansion plans were exclusively revealed in an interview with BusinessLive.
A £140m investment drive by food manufacturing giant Kraft Heinz into its Wigan factory is to create 50 jobs.
The site at Kitt Green, Orrell, is the largest food processing plant in Europe and around 1.3 billion cans of food are produced at the plant every year.
As part of the plans, the manufacture of sauces such as Heinz Tomato Ketchup would be brought back to the UK.
The investment would also be used to fund updated manufacturing equipment and technology.
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A new Greater Manchester-based finance group has been launched aiming to become the UK’s number one choice for ‘climate positive’ vehicle leasing and asset finance specialists.
Vavoom wants to “cut its own path” by offering customers an alternative to traditional vehicle leasing and finance that supports the adoption of sustainable electric vehicles (EV) – while preparing the industry for the future.
It hopes to provide a service “based on integrity” – but also one that helps educate and provide consultancy “on all aspects of EV adoption”.
Petrol station giant EG Group, which is owned by the billionaire Issa brothers who recently bought Asda, is to create up to 300 jobs as part of the Government’s Kickstart scheme to improve opportunities for young people at risk of long-term unemployment.
These new roles will provide applicants with an opportunity to gain work experience during a six-month placement at either EG Group’s foodservice brands, including Greggs, Starbucks, KFC, Burger King, and Subway, at the petrol filling stations, or at the EG Group head office in Blackburn.
EG Group will pay Kickstarters in line with current pay levels and added that individuals will have the opportunity to apply for permanent roles at the end of the six-month placement.
The group also said that applicants will also be offered various incentives for involvement in the scheme, including monetary awards to Kickstarters who complete the full six months and a further award once they transition into a permanent role and the probationary period completes.
Car retail giant Lookers is looking to recruit 29 new members of staff in its head office in Altricham following recent growth.
The listed group is looking to fill a range of positions in IT, marketing, business development and finance roles in both entry and senior levels.
A spokesman said: “After the past year, we are thrilled to be recruiting for a variety of positions at our head office in Altrincham.
“We are on the look out for the best talent in the North West and are excited to welcome some great people into the business.”
The Very Group
Liverpool-based The Very Group, the operator of online retailers Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com, will create 30 new roles as part of the Government’s Kickstart scheme to improve opportunities for young people at risk of long-term unemployment.
Open via Job Centre Plus to 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit, the roles will offer work experience during a paid six-month placement within Very’s customer care, technology or colleague experience teams at its Liverpool-based headquarters, or within its operations team at its highly automated fulfilment centre in the East Midlands.
Very, which will supplement the chosen applicants’ Government funded wage, expects a number of the ‘Kickstarters’ to have the opportunity to apply for permanent roles at the end of their six month placements.
Vicky Ferrier, talent and capability director at The Very Group, said: “When it comes to the jobs market, young people have been disproportionately negatively impacted by the pandemic.
“But we know they have a huge amount to offer, both to our business and our communities. That’s why Kickstart is so important and why we’re proud to take part.
“By offering genuinely exciting, valuable and supported paid placements across our business – and providing employability skills alongside our partner The Prince’s Trust, we’re confident the chosen applicants will have bright futures ahead of them, whether that’s here at The Very Group or with another employer. We can’t wait to welcome the Kickstarters in July.”
BioGrad Diagnostics has announced further growth, investing more than £2m in a second site in Liverpool City Region, based in Bootle. In addition, the firm is almost halving its costs to support travel to £60 per test.
The new premises, located at St Hugh’s House on Stanley Road, is set to open on Sunday, June 20 and will offer operations including a new clinic, clinic administration, a customer service call centre, marketing and HR departments across two floors totalling more than 7,500 sq/ft.
BioGrad’s Bootle site will create approximately 120 new jobs for the city region and increase the firm’s ability to provide Gold Standard Covid-19 testing across the country. This follows the launch of five other clinics since December 2020 including sites in Manchester and three locations in London.
E-commerce agency Hudson, whose clients include the likes of Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce, is creating new jobs in Manchester.
Hudson, which is headquartered in Glasgow, is looking for developers and CRO technicians to join its team.
The roles will support the agency in bolstering its client services offering and expand the range of digital solutions and in house skills for its client portfolio.
Hudson is also looking to secure office space in the city centre for its Manchester-based consultancy.
The agency is also expecting to reach its projected turnover of £1.5m by 2022.
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A Liverpool-based temporary staff booking platform is to create 250 jobs for young people across the UK as part of the Government’s Kickstart scheme.
Redwigwam said the entry-level jobs will provide successful candidates with the chance to gain work experience during a six-month placement.
People aged 16-24 and on Universal Credit can apply for the paid roles in the £2bn programme which guarantees workers 25 hours per week.
Some of the roles require candidates to go into the workplace, while other roles are fully remote and will be working from home.
The job opportunities, available across the country, include brand ambassadors, administrators, customer service, digital marketing executives, graphic designers, receptionists, social media executives and field sales executives.
B&M created more than 7,200 UK jobs over its last financial year in which its profits more than doubled as its revenue surged during its latest financial year because of a boom in lockdown spending.
The Liverpool-headquartered discount retail giant reported a group revenue of £4.801bn for the 12 months to March 27, 2021, up 25.9% from the £3.813bn it achieved during the prior year.
The group’s statutory pre-tax profits increased by 108.5% from £252m to £525.5m over the same period while its adjusted EBITDA surged by 83% from £342.3m to £626.4m.
During the year B&M opened a gross 43 stores in the UK which was offset by 18 closures.
B&M also confirmed that it rewarded its staff and invested in its communities through the payment of ‘colleague recognition bonuses’ in relation to Covid-19 and the creation of over 7,200 new UK jobs.
A rise in home renovations and house moves has seen the UK’s leading haulier of construction materials, boosting turnover and creating jobs, with support from Lloyds Bank.
Bimson Haulage said it experienced a significant increase in demand for its delivery services over the past 12 months, after more people chose to undertake private construction projects and make improvements to their homes during lockdown.
To help meet demand, Bimson secured a six-figure funding package from Lloyds Bank, which it will use to upgrade its fleet operator’s licence to 66 vehicles, with 25 new specialist vehicles already on order.
The vehicles will all also meet Euro 6 emissions standards, making them some of the most efficient and eco-friendly heavy goods vehicles on the market. Meanwhile, the funding has also allowed the business to upgrade its existing fleet with the addition of front, rear and side cameras to help protect vulnerable road users.
A Lancashire-headquartered liquid supplements specialist, which has secured almost £3m in funding over the last 14 months and seen sales treble, is looking to create 20 jobs after it launched a tech hub in London.
YourZooki has established a new team within WeWork’s 2 Eastbourne Terrace, Paddington, and is looking to create new roles as it strengthens its inhouse tech capabilities and direct-to-consumer ecommerce platform.
It comes after online sales rocketed by over 430% since April 2020, with over 315% growth in YourZooki’s monthly subscription model, helping to treble revenues in 2020.
The Tudor Group
Manchester-based cleaning company The Tudor Group is set to create 100 jobs throughout its service delivery teams and “significantly” increase its revenue in 2021.
During the start of 2020, the group “radically altered” its business strategy to adjust to the impact of the pandemic.
At the start of that year, the majority of its business was related to window cleaning for hospitality venues and event cleaning services for leisure sites.
When those services were not required during lockdowns, the company accelerated its product development strategy to expand upon its specialist cleaning operation.
Now, The Tudor Group’s hospitality clients have returned and the company has also established a significant foothold in the property management, education, healthcare, construction, commercial and public sectors.
Lancashire-based technology company Sundown Solutions is looking to increase employee numbers as it continues its growth plans.
After a series of prestigious client wins, Sundown is now embarking on a recruitment drive to add 20 new people to its 33-strong workforce.
Kelly-Ann Groves, Sundown Solutions’ chief operating officer, said. “We’re always on the hunt for talented people who share our passion for making technology work for our clients.
“Our ethos is to ensure that organisations of all sizes and types benefit from technology and that it works for them, and not the other way round. We’re looking for people that have excellent technical skills but are equally as good at developing strong relationships with our clients and helping solve their problems.”
A Manchester-based packaging specialist, which works with the likes of musicMagpie, Joules and N Brown, is creating seven jobs after it completed a major investment in its headquarters.
DUO has invested a further £700,000 to support the continued growth of its packaging services.
This follows £1.85m being put towards new equipment and the expansion of its facilities in 2020, with the latest round of investment going to new conversion equipment and improvements in the company’s print department.
To support its continued growth, DUO is also recruiting for a further seven roles across the business from administration through to specialist flexo print supervisors and a sales and service manager.
A Cheshire software platform that harnesses smartphone technology to remove the need for face-to face contact in the banking, legal and recruitment sectors is set to double its workforce and boost its turnover by the end of the year.
FastDox, based in Handforth Dean, was established 18 months ago and is forecasting an increase in turnover by more than 60% to £2.5m.
The company includes national debt charity StepChange as one of its clients and plans to double staff numbers by the end of 2021.
Danish retailer JYSK is to open two new stores in Greater Manchester providing dozens of jobs for the region.
The home furnishings store will open a new site at Bury’s Angouleme Retail Park on June 10, followed by another at Manchester Road Retail Park on July 8 selling the firm’s affordable “Scandi-chic” products.
The openings for the firm, the largest Danish retailer operating globally and pronounced “yoosk”, follows last year’s launch in Liverpool, as it pursues “ambitious” UK expansion plans.
The Greater Manchester openings are set to create 25 jobs.
A Manchester-headquartered online home accessories business, which has seen its turnover surge by 300%, is expanding into a new £5m base and creating 50 jobs.
Work has started on the new 70,000sq ft premise for OHS at Wardley Industrial Estate which will its new head office and warehouse facilities, as well as a photography studio.
The business is expected to move into its new home, which will boast double its current storage capacity, in February 2022.
A Manchester online children’s toy and games retailer is creating jobs after it secured a seven-figure funding package from HSBC UK to support its growth plans.
BargainMax is to use the extra money to increase its product range and stock by over 60% in the next 12 months as well as create new jobs at its head office and warehouse.
The funding will also be used to increase brand awareness via targeted social media campaigns and support ongoing website development.
Boe House, the owner of Baby Box Shop, has significantly expanded its business after receiving a £160,000 funding package from Rosebud Finance, Lancashire County Council’s investment vehicle.
The Lancashire business, based in Thornton, sells pre-filled and ready-made gift boxes for babies and parents, helping to reduce stress for those looking for gifts. Last year, Boe House secured the loan to help it create jobs and increase export sales following support from Lancashire’s Access to Finance team.
Since receiving the loan, Boe House has been able to create five new full-time jobs in the region, employing two new staff to its warehouse and three to its production line, as well as an additional part-time employee.
These new hires have been necessary to support demand for the gift boxes, which has significantly increased since the beginning of the pandemic. While Brexit had an impact on demand within the EU, interest was exacerbated in the US, surpassing budgeted sales.
Proposals to redevelop a former spinning mill site in Oldham and build 98 affordable homes have been given the green light by the local council.
The £14m Maple Mill project is expected to directly create more than 60 jobs during the building of the flats, maisonettes and houses. All the homes will be available either through affordable rent or shared ownership.
Planning and development consultancy Lichfields, on behalf of MCI Developments, secured planning (June 9) to develop the 4.6-acre brownfield site in Hathershaw, off Cardwell Street. There were no objections, and the project was recommended for approval which was unanimously supported by councillors.
The derelict site was largely cleared following arson attacks in 2009 and 2016. Prior to this, the site had not been in operation for over ten years.