MADE in Britain member Pland Stainless shares its birthday with another Leeds-based icon; the city’s football team and Pland Stainless are both 100 years old this year.
Established in 1919 on the same Lower Wortley Ring Road site, the company has changed and flexed to chase emerging markets over the years. In 1919 it was called the Taylor File & Tool Company and in 1926 changed its name to Taylor Rustless Fittings in line with a change to produce stainless steel butchers’ fittings. In 1936 it became the Stainless Steel Sink Company Limited, the first to manufacture stainless steel sinks in the UK for both the catering and domestic markets. In 1993 it became part of The Spring Ram Corporation and here in the UK, the now named Pland evolved to become a key commercial supplier.
In 2000, Pland became independent from group ownership again and in 2008 the management team, led by current MD Steve Duree and operations director, Ian Hodgson, acquired the business.
The business has continued to employ and train skilled engineering personnel (some multi-generations) to manufacture robust and well engineering products. Pland products are mostly designed for the healthcare, sanitaryware, washrooms, laboratory, education, catering, janitorial and the secure accommodation markets.
“The Pland business has certainly had to flex over the years to chase emerging markets and at times to gain capital injection as equipment in an engineering business comes at a high cost,” said MD Steve Duree.
“Some of those changes in strategy have been more successful than others. The move into production of both catering and domestic sinks was a first in the UK and we benefited from this position but as the market became more saturated we flexed again to focus on commercial supply. Hospital sinks and sanitaryware are still a large proportion of what we do but we now offer bespoke sizes and specialised options that better suit the user, so flexing again to reflect user requirements and new technology.
“I believe the secret to our longevity has definitely been our flexibility and ability to maintain a highly skilled and talented workforce who are without doubt our greatest asset."
The football team, meanwhile, looks set to return to the Premiership next season. Leeds United led the Championship over Christmas and into the new year – MOT.
Find out more about Pland from its member page in the Made in Britain directory