Board24 Coalville recently celebrated a momentous milestone – 30 years in business. A lot has changed in that time, but they have kept at the forefront of sheetboard manufacturing and moved with the times, continually investing in machinery and people.
The company started out as Modelboard Limited which was formed in 1987, by three main UK shareholders, who had all worked in various capacities for Bowaters. They built up the Willander Group which owned several sheet plants, including those now known as Boxes and Packaging Leicester and Bristol.
Willander wanted to secure board supply for their group, and decided to have their own sheetfeeder plant. Coalville was chosen as a strategic location, close to the M1 motorway, and with a large part of the market accessible in a day’s round trip by truck.
Corrugator No 1 started up at Coalville in 1988, the business grew and sold into the wider market as well as within the Group. Corrugator No 2 started up at Coalville in 1993.
The Coalville factory started as a relatively small and narrow corrugator building. It has expanded over the years with more finished goods storage, Corrugator 2 and Reel store 2, a larger despatch hall and more loading bays. The Reel store 3 and a finished goods storage building were also incorporated on the site.
The company was purchased by Amcor (an Australian packaging company) in 1991. Under Amcor ownership the Preston site was purchased and developed, where Corrugator 3 started in 1996.
Mondi purchased Modelboard in 1999, and the company name was changed to Mondi Sheet Feeding. The Larkhall factory was purchased in 2001 and became part of the Mondi Sheet Feeding Division. Mondi Sheet Feeding was sold to Logson in May 2008, and became Board24 Limited.
The company’s key customers had grown faster than the general market, and their success encouraged Logson to support them with the commissioning of Corrugator 4 complete with all services at Preston in 2015. Due to a number of shift changes there has been a significant increase in production figures. This maintained the company’s high quality output, increased sales and productivity.
A major initiative under Logson ownership was to supply Cases into the trade. The niche was straightforward 0201 cases in higher volumes than the Boxes and Packaging sister businesses could supply. Casemaker 1 started in 2009, which was very successful and established the Cases24 brand.
It was followed by Casemaker 2 in 2011, and Casemaker 3 in 2012, which broadened the range offered and increased the sales volumes achieved. The most recent investment is the Casemaker 4 line in Q4 2018, which builds on the Cases24 success and gives more capacity and improved productivity.
The employees are part of Board24’s long and successful history, many of whom are from the local areas and have accumulated an incredible number of years’ service between them. There are currently a number of employees who have been awards their 25 years milestone over recent years, with many more due in the next couple of years. There is one employee (Ian Savage), who has been with the business since 1988 – he certainly has some stories.
Richard McBride, Managing Director commented; “On behalf of management and staff, we thank our customers for their business and support over the last three decades. Also a big thank you to our dedicated employees for being part of our journey and look forward to working with them as we continue to develop the business further.”