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‘Grand Designs’ manufacturers turn wood waste into profits

March 25th, 2013 | 8:44 am

Huddersfield-based Manzana Contracts has uplifted sales by £30k in the last six months after it installed two new low-carbon heaters. 

Specialist joiners, Manzana Contracts, purchased two new wood waste heaters to convert their wood cut-offs into free energy rather than sending it to land-fill. 

This resulted in savings in excess of £20k in reduced energy and waste management costs to date. The company then used the improved cash-flow to recruit an additional member of staff, which led to increased productivity and sales.

Manzana Contract's owners, Chris and Gill Heleine, appeared in the second series of the hit Channel 4 programme Grand Designs, where they converted a 19th century wool mill in Netherton, Huddersfield into a minimalist high-tech home, receiving a coveted Riba award on the way. They set up Manzana contracts in April 2012 to provide specialist manufacturing services for the leisure, commercial and elite domestic market. 

The couple purchased the heaters using a match-funded grant of £8k through CO2Sense's Resource Efficiency Yorkshire (REY) programme, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Initially, the environmentally conscious couple purchased the heaters to minimise the business's wood waste and carbon footprint. However, after calculating that it would cost around £26,000 to heat their workshop every year, investing in the heaters no longer made environmental sense, it also made commercial sense too. 

"Everyone at Manzana Contracts is thrilled with the results of the wood waste heaters" said Gill. "Not only are they environmentally friendly, we have also seen huge cost savings. This reduction in overheads allows us to be more competitively priced in a challenging market and the improved cash flow as allowed us to increase our workforce and sales."

Joanne Pollard, chief executive of CO2Sense said "Resource efficiency is key driver of business growth. 

Manzana Contracts have shown how something as simple as changing your business's heaters can result in big savings and a significant sales increase. 

CO2Sense's REY programme was established in 2009 to help SMEs in Yorkshire & Humber cut carbon emissions and grow their business through resource efficiency. Over the past four years, REY has supported 470 businesses in either the form of a grant or a free two-day resource efficiency review. The programme has directly resulted in 63 being new jobs created, with a further 32 jobs expected by the end of 2013; and 5 new businesses being created, with a further 8 predicted by the end of 2013. 

To see more examples of business who have benefitted from implementing resource efficiency please click here 

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