Molygran Ltd, Bury - SME (Manufacturing)

A family company in Bury has expanded its polystyrene product range into the low carbon building insulation market - opening up new opportunities that could lead to huge growth.

Keith Fairhurst, MD at Molygran Ltd, said: “Buildings and insulation is effectively a new market for us, something that the Hub’s advice opened our eyes to”.

Molygran Ltd traditionally specialises in custom expanded polystyrene (EPS) and polyethylene foam solutions for packaging, display and merchandising. 

However, having enjoyed a steady growth for a number of years, the company felt ready to explore new markets.

This led to working with specialists at Greater Manchester’s Business Growth Hub, who introduced Molygran to the potential of capitalising on the growing demand for environmental products and services. 

New products, new markets

Throughout 2017 environmental business advisors at the Hub have supported Molygran’s senior management team to investigate how its EPS products could offer a low carbon benefit to the construction sector.

The thermal properties of EPS mean it is ideal for low cost insulation in buildings, an opportunity that Molygran had not explored previously.

“Buildings and insulation is effectively a new market for us, something that the Hub’s advice opened our eyes to”, said managing director Keith Fairhurst. “Some of the manufacturing techniques are also new to us so we had to learn to manufacture a product to the consistent level required for these uses.”

Molygran has now developed two new products that combine its existing extensive expertise in CNC profile cutting EPS blocks with its new knowledge of thermal efficiency. This includes both a ‘springy’ and tongue-and-groove insulation board, which is already in production and being sold.

Environmental performance

According to the company, the existing and other exciting potential opportunities it has opened up could more than double their staff numbers in the next two years.

“We are also putting what we’ve learnt into practice ourselves”, Keith added. “Our new manufacturing site and head office has insulated composite roof panels installed, as well as LED lighting and a more efficient condensing boiler for office heating.”

Claire Scott, environmental business advisor at the Hub, said: “The market for environmental goods and services is growing rapidly around the world and many manufacturers are sitting on opportunities to diversify without knowing it. 

“Molygran’s experience is a great example of how an existing product, if tweaked slightly, can gain a green USP.”

To find out more about the Hub’s support for Greater Manchester SMEs, or to read other success stories, click here.