Rochdale businesses are pulling together

Date published: 19 March 2020

In these testing times, Rochdale businesses are pulling together. A number of businesses are sharing what they are doing to get through.

Phil Cornell the CEO of K P Industries, in Kingsway Business Park, which works with the likes of BMW, Bentley Motors, Jaguar Land Rover and Bombardier.  He said paying suppliers was vital.

He said: “We are also determined to keep our suppliers paid on time and have no intention of holding on to cash. Things are going to be difficult enough for everyone without this added burden, we recommend all other businesses do the same.

''With this determination we can hopefully keep everything moving forward (which is what you would hope for from a conveyor company!) and keep all our staff in employment and their salaries paid.

“KP Industries are determined as much as possible to maintain business as normal. Being an engineering manufacturer 95 per cent plus of our staff need to work from our premises.

“We are taking all precautions required to maintain the health and safety of our employees including restricting outside visitors and controlling/sanitising deliveries into the building.

“We are advising all staff to come to work but when at home follow the Government's advice. Obviously if they or a family member does not feel well then stay at home.”

Middleton-based contract toiletry and personal care manufacturer Wordsworth UK donated a number of five litre tubs of hand sanitiser to local high schools before it was announced the schools would close.


Tim Fairley, managing director of PDS
Tim Fairley, managing director of PDS


Fire door manufacturer PDS employs 90 people at their site in Littleborough and had announced plans to grow to 150 inside three years before coronavirus.

Managing director Tim Fairley said: “For the moment, it is very much business as usual for PDS and we continue our growth and expansion as a leading doorset manufacturer.

“We have now introduced home working and redeployed staff around the business to ensure no close proximity working whilst on our premises. We have educated and implemented sanitary and hygiene guidelines within all aspects of our office and factories. We have provided our delivery drivers with necessary cleaning and sanitising solutions to help with their and our customers safety when receiving goods from us.

“We have put in place financial support packages to ensure our 90 employees can meet their financial obligations in the worst case scenario of the Government enforcing an extended shutdown of our manufacturing facilities, enabling them to pay rent, mortgages and survive comfortably during a period of enforced isolation, such as we have seen in other countries around Europe.

“As an employee-owned business we are putting the ongoing welfare of our employees first whilst still maintaining focus on delivering product to our customers. PDS is a very strong business and is fully prepared to meet and overcome any challenge from the coronavirus outbreak in the coming months and beyond.

“We will continue to press on with our capital investment and expansion programme and maintain our ongoing commitment to our charity partner Springhill Hospice ensuring we continue to be a socially responsible business in our local community in what are very testing and unprecedented times.”

Dan Taylor is the managing director of manufacturer Kerf Developments and said they were trying to keep coronavirus out of the factory.

“We are doing morning temperature checks on each employee in their vehicles as they enter the car park before entering the premises using a temperature scanner. So far everyone is under 36.5c and not showing any of the other potential symptoms.”


Crystal Doors Managing Director, Richard Hagan
Crystal Doors Managing Director, Richard Hagan


Richard Hagan is the managing director of Crystal Doors, which is the leading manufacturer of vinyl-wrapped doors, and said they were using technology to keep disruption to a minimum.

He said: “All sales meetings are cancelled, all employees are able to work from home now able with VPN, zoom. We’ve planned for 40 per cent of the workforce being off. Hygiene is at essential level. Social distancing is in force. Plan, protect, act now. Fire testing of equipment takes place outside office hours.”

Two senior managers of family-run building contractor H Bell & Son took the decision to self-isolate after coming back from ski trip.

Managing director Chris Bell and health and safety manager Michael Scott worked with local IT firm Myson Pages to be able to work remotely in the event of having to self-isolate.

Account manager Louise Scott, who is the fourth generation of her family to work for the firm, said: “As a local business who use local suppliers and independents. We are paying all our small suppliers early. Doing our but for the local economy.

“We’re also private landlords and advised our agents we will review any request for hardship over rental payments. That’s not H Bell & Son though it’s our other business.”

Lancashire Farm Dairies, which was founded in 1984 and employs 220 staff, has grown to become one of the UK's largest natural yogurt brands and is looking to recruit more people to meet  the sharp demand for their products.

Chief operating officer Sarfaraz Akram said: “Our primary concern is ensuring the wellbeing and safety of all our staff. We have seen a huge spike in orders due to ‘panic buying’ and are doing our best to keep up with demand. We will be taking on additional people to help boost supply.”


Brad Daniel as a paratrooper with II Squadron RAF Regiment
Brad Daniel as a paratrooper with II Squadron RAF Regiment


Former paratrooper Brad Daniel is a director of Greater Manchester Construction Training (GMCT) and helps train up the next generation of construction workers.

He said: “We have postponed all classroom-based training courses, applied to awarding bodies for extensions to certification and cards, which have been approved. Health and Safety consultancy, site audits still operational, until such time as construction sites are closed. All staff will be working from home.”

Mariam Aslam-Digger is the head of marketing at Revilo Group, which consists of a group of companies including Revilo Automotives, Revilo Capital, Revilo Developments, Revilo Homes, Revilo Mortgages and Revilo Life.

She said: “For the homes and mortgages division our biggest concern is the wellbeing of our vendors and team. A huge portion of being an estate agent means you're in contact with potential clients on a daily basis or conducting viewings at residences across the borough. We've had to bring in and enforce some strict guidelines. For the automotive business, our teams have been offered he opportunity to work from home, and the infrastructure is in place for them to do so.” 

Rochdale Development Agency is committed to helping local businesses respond to the impacts of the coronavirus. Businesses can contact the RDA about any of the points raised in this article, the latest government announcements and any other business issues at this challenging time. Contact the RDA on 01706 927000 or

More information and a range of resources for business are also available from the GC Business Growth Hub website:

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