Heaps goes Dutch

A CENTURIES-old family firm that makes everything from leading for stained glass through to radiation shielding has secured a foothold in a range of new export markets.

Heaps, Arnold & Heaps, based on the Barbot Hall Industrial Estate in Rotherham, has won orders from Sweden, Germany, Romania and the Netherlands.

The company scored the successes with the help of Rotherham Investment & Development Office and the European Union-funded Soft Landing Zone programme, designed to boost growth and prosperity in Rotherham.

RiDO business development coordinator Julia Millea identified the Glasstec exhibition in Dusseldorf as an ideal way of getting into European markets.

RiDO helped the firm to get brochures translated into several languages, including French, German, Spanish and Arabic, for the exhibition.

The Rotherham firm then joined forces with Dutch-based glass distributor Peli Glass Products to share a stand at the show.

Heaps, Arnold & Heaps was founded in 1770 and has remained in the same family ever since.

Products include anodes used in zinc, tin and chrome plating, solders, lead sheet and weights, as well as radiation shielding and traditional lead ‘came’ – shaped strips of lead, with grooves to hold the glass in stained glass windows and leaded lights.

The company recently invested in a new lead came production line to support its expansion into Europe, which is expected to create new jobs at its Rotherham factory.

Heaps, Arnold & Heaps’ general manager Marc Briscoe said: “We had a fantastic response at Glasstec.

“It was the first time we had attended an overseas exhibition and we had a number of enquiries for our lead came range, which is used in stained glass windows and leaded light design. We had a large number of enquiries at the exhibition with many already converting into sales, which has been a huge boost to our overseas business.

“RiDO’s assistance helped us to identify that the exhibition was attended by potential customers for our product and with translating the product literature, which was well received.

“As we have around 95 per cent of the UK market for this product line, we needed to look to export to grow the business.”

RiDO’s Julia Millea said: “It has been great to work with Heaps, Arnold & Heaps to research European markets for their products and it is fantastic that the exhibition has worked so well for them and they have already received orders from it.”