New Lancashire factory lights way to a greener future

Two Lancashire entrepreneurs have joined forces to set up a new low-energy lighting factory, with backing from Lancashire County Council’s Rosebud Finance.

CFE Lighting, which is based in Trawden, Colne, will manufacture energy-efficient LED luminaires for industrial and commercial customers, using components from local suppliers. The company has already created six new jobs and expects to double its staff numbers in the next six months.

Founders Chris Baldwin and Paul Howland have secured a £150,000 Rosebud loan to support the launch. Mr Baldwin is the owner of two Lancashire businesses – Baldwin Technical Services of Heywood, which specialises in electrical systems for the food industry, and Sugden’s of Barrowford, a leading producer of Hotplates Systems for production of English Muffins and Crumpets.

Mr Howland runs the Burnley-based low-energy lighting consultancy Carbon Footprint Experts, and telecoms firm C2-UK Communications.

LED (light-emitting diode) light fittings can offer savings of over 50% compared to traditional bulbs. Although they currently account for only around 6% of lighting in the UK, some experts predict they will replace traditional bulbs within the next 12 years.

CFE’s initial products include a new range of waterproof low-bay industrial lighting suitable for use in the food and beverage industry. The company is offering to replace customers’ existing lighting for no initial outlay, with the costs funded by the ongoing savings on energy bills.

Peter Rooney of Enterprise Ventures, which manages Rosebud on behalf of the county council, said: “Given its potential to slash energy bills and reduce carbon emissions, LED lighting is the way forward. We expect uptake of LED light fittings to grow rapidly in the coming years. This new Lancashire production plant will provide a locally based source of LED lights to cater for the increasing demand.”

Rosebud is a finance package supporting Lancashire firms to grow and expand their business. It is managed by Enterprise Ventures on behalf of Lancashire County Developments Ltd (LCDL) – the county council’s economic development company.

Andy Walker, head of business growth for the county council, said: “Rosebud aims to create economic growth by supporting companies that can demonstrate opportunities for strong growth. We’ve identified the energy and environment sector as one that we’re keen to support, due to its high growth potential.

“We’re pleased to support CFE Lighting who have identified an ambitious growth strategy and now have the backing from Rosebud to help bring this to life.

“They’re looking to create jobs right here in Lancashire, as well as using local suppliers, which will provide a further boost to the economy.”