A BARNARD Castle trade supplier to the signs and graphics industry has enjoyed growth following significant investments in the company.

During the last five years, the William Smith Group 1832 has expanded with the introduction of an education facility and investment in hi-tech equipment.

The Training Academy, which launched last year, uses the firm’s century of experience in the sign, graphics and interiors industries to train and inspire businesses to explore new markets, train their workforce and identify growth opportunities.

The Academy offers ten courses, ranging from film application and wrap training to sales, but following its popularity the company hopes to increase the number of courses offered.

It has also invested significantly in advanced manufacturing equipment, including signage hardware, a channel letter bender, powder coat facility and a pre-wash station, for Smith, the trade-only supplier and manufacturing division of the group. This equipment has helped improve efficiency, reduce lead times and provide higher quality products.

Due to increasing demand for its products, the company has flourished and moved its fabrication team into a new factory, which is double the size of the previous facility. It has also employing ten new recruits over the last three years.

The company has also expanded its products with the introduction of numerous new vehicle wrap and architectural films and accessories, including films from well-known manufacturers 3M, Avery Dennison and Arlon.

Chris Bradley, head of marketing, said: “It’s been a very busy period for the business but the growth we’ve experienced has been remarkable and thanks to the investments we’ve made, we’ve been able to continue to develop as demand has increased. The Training Academy has been our biggest venture and it shows our commitment to developing skills, introducing new services and boosting businesses across the industry."