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Reflecting on 2022 with Pride

Here at Midland Lead, we have taken time to reflect on the year as 2022 draws to a close, we wanted to look back and celebrate some of our achievements.

To say that 2022 has been yet another year of challenges is an understatement, but as a team, we have proved again that together we progress and get stronger.

Investing in Our People

At the start of the year, we announced the promotion of Kyle Hazeldine to Sales and Marketing Manager after working as part of our team for more than seven years. Since his appointment, he continues to head up the sales and marketing team to further build the Midland Lead brand and continue to drive sales into new markets. Kyle commented: “Since being appointed Sales and Marketing Manager I have been so proud of what we have achieved in another difficult year. I am really looking forward to what the future holds, and we have a very exciting future ahead of us.”

With 39 years here at Midland Lead we also welcomed Dave Wooley back as Business Development Manager in Export and Healthcare, after a brief period in operations. The export and healthcare sector can be complex but is something that Dave has many years of experience helping customers, he said: “I am delighted to be back in the sales team as I enjoy working closely with customers. Advising on projects and finding solutions is something that I find very rewarding, and I am proud to be part of the future growth of Midland Lead as we continue to develop and expand the overseas and healthcare sectors.”

One of our core values here at Midland Lead is to invest in our people to offer them the opportunity to grow with us and have a training and development programme that is continually being rolled out and we invest in our people so that they are equipped with skills that will enable them to rotate their roles and progress. This year we have invested around £10,000 in training people to be able to operate different machinery in operations safely and make their job both interesting and rewarding.

David Hines of DH Training said: “Midland Lead put people at the centre of their business, and they know that a happy workforce is more productive, and it is evident whenever we visit that people are motivated and enjoy learning new skills. This also lends itself to the great safety culture that runs throughout the business, when people know more about the whole operations side, they are more aware of potential health and safety risks and how these can affect efficiency as well as their colleagues.”

Staff Spotlight - Meet Midland Leads Steve WattEarlier on this year we also engaged with our shift workers to help develop their ‘Dream Shift Patterns’ as part of our ‘Tell It How It Is’ value. We worked closely with the operations team to see how we could improve the shifts to offer a better work-life balance. As a result, a new shift pattern was trialed and implemented based on recommendations from the team consultation Steve Watt, Operations Manager added; “This is a win-win situation for the business and our teams, with crippling rising energy costs we have been able to reduce our cost base, whilst maintaining volumes, quality of product and our delivery service for customers. The compressed working week means the team gets some proper downtime with their family and friends, with no reduction in their overall income.”

We have been producing lead products at our specialist site in Swadlincote for nearly 40 years, and the change in shift patterns is one example of the way we listen and build a productive and happy #TeamMidlandLead.

Alongside Loates HR, we have been working on developing a deliverable wellbeing strategy that will be launched in 2023. Sarah Loates commented: “During 2022 Midland Lead’s people strategy focussed on building an engaged workforce, with a focus on wellbeing. We held several interactive wellbeing focus groups to really understand what is important to employees. There were some great ideas from team members, which have formed the basis of a wellbeing plan we plan to roll out early in 2023.”

Thank you to all of our team – who help to make us who we are!

Award Celebrations 

Pride doesn’t come close to how we feel about the national and regional awards that we have won and named finalists in 2022. In everything we do here at Midland Lead we ensure that we maintain a focus on our core values, our team, and the quality of our products and customer service.

In May, we were shortlisted and named as one of just three finalists in the Awards for Excellence in Recycling and Waste Management. The category that we were entered into was for the Metals Recycling Business of the Year, which specifically recognised companies that were committed to contributing to a more sustainable future in manufacturing. Being named finalists was a testament to the work we have done and also to the plans that we are already implementing for the future.

We are also delighted to have been named one of the Top 200 Derbyshire Businesses by the University of Derby as they celebrate businesses that are creating jobs and contributing to the regional economy.

In September the BMF announced the Young Supplier Achiever shortlist and Kyle Hazeldine was been named as one of just three finalists in this prestigious title. Being shortlisted was just the start as at the awards ceremony Kyle was named a well-deserved winner. The judges at BMF said: “Kyle has taken every opportunity afforded to him in developing from an enthusiastic customer service administrator to a confident, knowledgeable, and well-respected member of the company’s management team. His nomination was endorsed by managers, colleagues, and customers alike.

“Kyle’s work ethic and industry knowledge are outstanding, inspiring others through his interactions and commitment. Key achievements include the company’s first e-commerce business, realising £1m additional turnover. As a sustainability champion, he is leading the transformation of the company’s factory and challenging a negative image of lead by highlighting its sustainable nature.”

Finally in November Midland Lead was a finalist in the East Midlands Chamber Commitment to People Development. We’re so excited to be among the finalists. This award recognised organisations in the region that demonstrate a firm commitment to people development and the implementation and promotion of a learning and development culture, as well as how employee wellbeing is supported. Here at Midland Lead our commitment to our people continues and being named as finalists recognised the work that happens to ensure all of our team play a big part in shaping Midland Lead into the future.

Out and About

Kyle and his sales team have actively attended a number of events this year representing Midland Lead to customers, politicians, and industry peers. One of the highlights was attending a Parliamentary Reception with the BMF, showcasing our sustainable manufacturing processes and championing the CO2nstructZero campaign that is firmly on the national agenda.

Other events have included;

Plus supporting customers by attending various trade days or opening days that we are always happy to attend. We look forward to seeing many people again next year at various events.

Supporting Future Generations of Lead Roofers

2022 was also a year that strengthened our commitment to support future generations of sustainable, skilled lead roofers as we celebrated 10 years of working Leeds College of Building. We now work with eighteen colleges as we welcomed South Coast Roof Training, Optimum Skills College, and Rooftrain UK to our network. Midland Lead has supplied 15 tonnes of lead along with ancillary products free of charge to colleges. We also provide ongoing training support and we are keen to continue to promote roofing training to help develop hands-on skills that are vital for learners.

Chris Messenger, Lecturer in roof slate and tiling, at Leeds College of Building commented earlier in the year: “I can’t thank Midland Lead enough for the support they have provided. LCB is proud to be the first training college that Midland Lead supported and how this has expanded to many other colleges throughout the UK.

“Hundreds of apprentices receive practical training with the most effective and environmentally friendly roofing product available. I would like to personally thank Francoise, as from the day she walked into LCB Stourton there have been many significant improvements to the course. Over the years we have also enjoyed working with Dave Woolley and Kyle Hazeldine, for their vision and commitment to training roofing apprentices everywhere.”

We were also very proud to sponsor the Bolton College Apprentice of the Year Award 2022 which took place in April and was attended by apprentices from the college who took the opportunity to showcase the skills that they have been learning. As a thank you Midland Lead donated lead and tools for the competition along with goody bags for all the competitors that took part. The winner was awarded a specially commissioned trophy that was designed and created by CM Leadworks who himself was an apprentice lead roofer and now runs his own business.

This year’s National SkillBuild finals which were held at Edinburgh College in November saw more than 80 construction trainees going head-to-head and we were delighted to provide a lead sheet that competitors could use to showcase their skills.

Creating a Sustainable Future

Creating a sustainable future is firmly on the agenda here at Midland Lead, and we can’t emphasise enough how important this is, especially within manufacturing, and we intend to continue to invest in the future. This year we have invested £230,000 in three projects that will reduce our carbon footprint as part of our ongoing commitment towards sustainability and producing green energy.

This began very early in 2022 when we commissioned our energy supplier, Inspired Energy, to carry out two reports including an energy and carbon baseline survey and an energy survey report that identified areas in which we could invest for us to achieve our ultimate goal of becoming a net-zero manufacturer.

Based on the recommendations in the report, we implemented three of the recommendations this year and next year will see more of our plans being delivered:

Additionally, we have also invested in a new electric forklift fleet which is due to be operational before the end of the year, and we have upgraded some of our plant and machinery to make them more energy efficient.

Last but not least, we are really playing our part to talk about the sustainability/circular economy of lead sheets within the construction industry. We have attended the BMF and continue to talk to our end users about the lead sheet’s green credentials and our EPD.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our team, customers, suppliers and the local business community that have helped to make 2022 another successful year. We now look forward to 2023 and seeing more of our plans become a reality.

Thank you.