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Wymondham-based toy manufacturer targets further growth

PUBLISHED: 18:43 11 October 2012

Orchard Toys, based at the Wymondham Business Park. Managing director Simon Newbery. Picture: Denise Bradley

Orchard Toys, based at the Wymondham Business Park. Managing director Simon Newbery. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant

A Wymondham-based toy firm is celebrating a successful year of growth and is adding new products to its portfolio.

Orchard Toys produce printed products such as puzzles and games aimed at children aged between 18 months and 12 years.

Managing director Simon Newbery cited new UK based customers as a reason for growth.

“We thought that the growth would have been from the exports but it has been from the UK. It has been down to new customers coming on board,” he said.

The firm, which employs 55 people, supplies local stores including Jarrold, Langleys and Kerrison’s.

They currently has 115 products in the range and they design around 10 new products a year.

“January is a busy month because that is when the largest toy fairs are held and everyone’s first question is ‘what’s new?’

“We have got a lot of customers who are very loyal to the brand.” Mr Newbery said.

They sell around 1.3m puzzles, board games and books every year.

“One of the biggest things that gives the Orchard Toys brand an edge is innovation, design and that we look after out customers.

“People who work here are happy and they believe in what they are doing. People are passionate about what they do,” Mr Newbery said.

The firm expanded their premises on the business park last year which saw them able to increase capacity by 60pc.

Mr Newbery said that despite tough economic conditions, turnover was forecast to increase by 15pc on last year.

“Turnover has been up around 50pc since we moved here,” he said. “There has been significant growth and we plan to continue to grow.

“We are not complacent about where we are. We are passionate about our product.”

The toys are designed, packed and dispatched in Wymondham and they are manufactured in the Midlands.

Orchard Toys was founded in Nottingham more than 40 years ago by Keith Harvey who started building blocks and blackboards for his wife, who ran a nursery.

Orchard Toys moved to Wymondham business park in 2006 when Mr Harvey sold the business to his son-in-law, Hugh Beevor, who lives near Attleborough.

They relocated to Norfolk, with around a dozen staff, because they were at the end of two leases on two buildings in Nottingham.

Managing director, Simon Newbery, said: “We like to keep things local. It works well for us to manufactured in the midlands. We didn’t want to move it to the Far East. Be being in the UK we are able to have more control,” Mr Newbery said. “We export 20pc to Australia, America, Hong Kong and Singapore and we are starting to produce products in French which also opens up the market in Canada.”

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