Wolverhampton Factory Doubles in Size Thanks to WMCA Investment

Drywall Steel Sections has moved into it new factory following investment from the WMCA

A family-run Black Country manufacturer has moved and doubled the size of its factory, following a £7.59 million investment from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).


Drywall Steel Sections, which has invested alongside the WMCA into the wider £13 million scheme, has moved to a new 39,850 sq ft factory built on four-and-a-half acres of brownfield land in Ettingshall, Wolverhampton. 


The firm was previously based in Cradley Heath, Dudley, for more than ten years but had outgrown the facility, which was also no longer fit for purpose for its modern production methods. 

The factory manufactures light gauge steel framing for the construction industry (including modular housing), as well as steel products for wall partitions and ceilings. It also has an engineering department, DrySpec, which specialises in designing and detailing steel framing for a vast range of buildings across the country. 


The WMCA’s investment has been used in part to cover the costs of dealing with several historic mine shafts on the site off Spring Road and making it fit for redevelopment. The site had stood vacant since 2008 after luxury car maker Rolls Royce ceased using it.


The investment is the latest to be made by the WMCA as part of its nationally leading brownfield first’ regeneration programme. The programme helps unlock and transform former industrial land by cleaning it up in order to create more jobs and high quality affordable homes. 


The total investment of the scheme also includes the construction of the G5 Industrial Park, a collection of 17 commercial starter units totalling 44,100 sqft. These units are perfectly sized and located for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to move into. It is expected to be home to around 150 new jobs once occupied.


Andy Street, Mayor for the West Midlands, and Chair of the WMCA, said: “I was here 12 months ago to watch work start on Drywall’s new factory so it’s exciting to be back and see them up and running in their new home.


“Manufacturers like Drywall are incredibly important to our regional economy which is why we use the money we secure from government to support those businesses who want to grow and generate new jobs for local people.
“We are also continuing to protect our green belt by prioritising investment on the regeneration of brownfield sites like this one. It’s important we clean up these sites to provide high quality affordable housing for local people and modern commercial premises for our businesses, helping to attract further investment into our region.


“Now Drywall are in their new factory I can’t wait to see them continue to grow and prosper in the years ahead.”


Drywall Steel Sections Ltd is part of a family-owned group of companies set up by Rajinder and Sunita Gupta more than 20 years ago. Since joining the business six years ago, their son Mayank has taken over as the managing director, and the firm is seeing new growth through fresh vigour.


Mayank Gupta, who previously worked in television production management and the financial sector before joining the family firm, said: “We are proud to bring Drywall Steel Sections Ltd’s headquarters back to our home city of Wolverhampton.


“Our new headquarters is equipped to handle significantly more manufacturing capacity with a much more efficient production process, allowing us to remain competitive in the market. Alongside our family investment, we are most grateful to the WMCA for its support in unlocking this brownfield site.


“The new Drywall HQ and commercial starter units on G5 Industrial Park will help safeguard current jobs and provide a much improved facility for the existing team. It will also create new jobs, help smaller businesses to grow in brand new premises, and boost the region's economy.


Drywall Steel Sections Ltd. has further expansion and growth plans, and this new facility will help us bring those plans to life.”
Chris Garratt started out at Drywall ten years ago and is now an Operations Manager.
He said: “I used to work for [Mayank’s] dad first so that’s how I came to work for the business. Mayank was called after to help his dad take the business to another level, four or five years ago, and fortunately we hit it off and could bounce ideas off each other.


“I’ve always enjoyed it’s a family business first and foremost. I’ve had a lot of say in the decisions here. It’s great to feel like we are starting again by moving into the new premises.”


Cllr Stephen Simkins, the WMCA’s portfolio holder for economy and innovation and leader of City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “The council is delighted to have supported Drywall Steel Sections in their move to Wolverhampton and in connecting them to WMCA funding for the development.
“It is heartening to see all the hard work from everyone involved pay off, particularly the drive and determination of the company themselves. Their new purpose-built premises in Ettingshall are first class and, alongside the new G5 Industrial Park, will provide new growth opportunities and economic benefits for the city.
"This is exactly the type of investment we are helping bring forward on brownfield land across Wolverhampton – helping boost our commitment to a sustainable economy.
"Most importantly, it safeguards jobs and will create new skilled manufacturing jobs in the future." 

Cllr Ian Courts, leader of Solihull Council and portfolio holder for housing and land at the WMCA, said: “This is an excellent example of our Brownfield land first strategy, bringing previously used industrial land back into use and creating new jobs and new homes across the region.


“In some cases, land does need remediation work to bring it up to a standard where it can be developed. I am pleased we have been able to support Drywall Steel Section’s expansion.”


Kieren Turner-Owen, Associate Director at FDC, said: “Having been involved with Mayank and the wider Gupta family for over two years now its fantastic to see the development reach completion with the yellow branding shining brightly. 


“I’m immensely proud that we’ve been able to assist here highlighting the importance of the funding we administer and the understanding we have working on difficult sites.


“I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Mayank and the Gupta family over the coming years seeing G5 and the Drywall business thrive.”



Access to funding for the project was provided by Frontier Development Capital Ltd (FDC), a fund manager working closely with property developers to arrange investments from the WMCA's Collective Investment Fund (CIF), Revolving Investment fund (RIF) and Brownfield Land and Property Development Fund (BLPDF). 

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