Colin Scarsi, Greencare
Anna Addison

Member Article

Teesside manufacturer sees sales soar thanks to export

A Teesside manufacturer specialising in luxury hand-built wheelchairs, whose factory was opened by Princess Diana, has announced major business growth thanks to a leap in demand for the products overseas.

Middlesbrough-based Greencare Mobility is the last main stream wheelchair manufacturer in the UK and is a provider to the NHS, as well as private customers who can, uniquely, visit the factory to watch their wheelchair being made to their exact specifications.

In just one year Greencare has seen its export sales soar, now accounting for around 20% of the business, boosting production and sales from its Riverside Industrial Estate site.

As well as exporting to countries in the Middle East and China, Greencare recently started to provide wheelchairs to war zones for severely injured casualties.

Exports started as a result of founder of Greencare, Colin Scarsi, identifying the need to provide wheelchairs to Libyan casualties during last year’s conflict.

Learning from the experience of working with them, Greencare is now working with other agencies to provide wheelchairs to civilians injured in regional conflicts. Colin himself has visited the zone on several occasions to asses the needs there and now sends wheelchairs to agencies caring for casualties of all ages to assist with their rehabilitation.

Greencare, the wheelchair division of Colin’s business, was established in 2005 by Colin Scarsi and David Batty, who has over 20 years experience designing and manufacturing mobility equipment and is widely recognised as one of the leading authorities on manual wheelchairs. The company manufactures wheelchairs that can be built exactly to a customer’s personal specification and is the last UK wheelchair manufacturer supplying in volume to the NHS.

The idea for the business emerged following Colin’s many successful years running Greentyre- which was opened by Princess Diana on the same site in 1992- selling Colin’s invention, the puncture-proof tyre, which appeared on Tomorrow’s World. The site produces almost a million tyres each year which are sold worldwide.

The business employs twenty eight people, manufacturing several thousand wheelchairs every year. The company provides customers with expert advice, a thorough assessment and a life-long warranty to ensure they get the exact wheelchair to match their needs. All of the wheelchairs are fitted with the puncture-proof tyres which enhance safety and prevent accidents.

Colin Scarsi said: “Demand overseas has risen significantly for us in the last year and is a key target for 2013 because we offer a British-made, designed and quality-led product. The fact that our wheelchairs are easy to assemble is of huge importance to those working in war zones and we’ve sent many to help casualties in these areas.

“Greencare works to make people’s lives easier and more comfortable. All our products can be ready within 24 hours of being ordered- so there are no waiting times. As well as working closely with the NHS, we get many customers who come to our factory to buy a wheelchair that is fitted exactly to their needs and stature. They can even watch their wheelchair being made.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Anna Addison .

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