Diss-based bespoke glazing firm aims to grow across the world

Diss company Glazing Vision produces bespoke rooflights. Managing director Jon Shooter.

Diss company Glazing Vision produces bespoke rooflights. Managing director Jon Shooter. - Credit: Glazing Vision

The future goals are clear for a glazing manufacturing firm – double turnover to £20m and increase international sales.

That is what Glazing Vision's managing director Jon Shooter is aiming to do after leading the company past the £10m mark and helping to raise international sales to £1m.

The company designs and builds bespoke roof lights for the super-rich from its Diss headquarters.

Glazing Vision products can be seen around the world, having been transported to destinations including Hong Kong, New York and the Middle East.

The firm said one of the reasons it has made an impact in Europe is its willingness to try new things and innovate.

The Sawmills Road site has a research and development lab and the company aims to do as much of its work in-house as possible, from welding and electronics to laminate finishing.

Mr Shooter said: 'We try to find solutions to problems people come to us with.

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'In Scandinavia there is a big call for heated glass to melt snow.

'We come across new technology and if there isn't something we develop it ourselves.

'We do a lot of work directly with architects so they tell us what they need and we try to do that for them.'

Some of the latest developments include smart glass which turns opaque when needed to give privacy.

While the international market is one the company is looking to expand into, it is the UK that provides its major market.

'We are quite niche and tend to cater for the rich and famous,' Mr Shooter said.

'Our main market is south-west London for big projects there.

'It is exciting, often you don't know who is on the other end and who you are designing something for.'

Roof lights can range from £600, for a standard model, to £250,000 or more for large bespoke pieces.

Glazing Vision, which employs around 130 people, has not found the impending exit from the European Union an issue.

Mr Shooter said: 'There was a slight drop in business in the immediate aftermath as I think people were trying to work out what was going to happen and were shocked.

'Now the weakening of the pound against the Euro is going to actually help us.

'We were in negotiations with a German company a the time of the referendum and they were asking for a discount.

'The drop in the pound actually helped us as it effectively gave them that discount.'

Mr Shooter, who has risen through the ranks after starting as a marketing manager, said he put the company's recent success down to hiring good people and keeping hold of them.

He said: 'You have got to have good people.

'That can be difficult in Norfolk so once you have them you have got to keep them, and we seem to do that.'

Mr Shooter added the company was planning to keep its operations in Norfolk for the long term despite looking to work further afield.

Have you got a business story? Contact business writer Doug Faulkner on doug.faulkner@archant.co.uk