/ News / Business Focus: Plastic’s fantastic for What More UK

What More UK employs more than 240 people at a purpose-built 500,000 sq.ft manufacturing and distribution facility at Altham and at head offices at Padiham, manufacturing more than 750 products.

They are a brand leader in plastic household storage including every size of plastic box imaginable and make kitchen cleaning items including washing up bowls, buckets, mops and bins, along with DIY toolboxes, organisers, gardening pots, pet care items and wooden brushes, all under the brand name Wham®.  In 2015 What More acquired world renowned leak-proof bakeware brand PushPan®.

In 2007, it started exporting and has just added Sweden as its 64th country to an ever-growing list of export markets, which also includes China and the Far East. The firm is on target to hit sales of £50 million this year.

 It has won a number of accolades including the Queen’s Award for Industry in International Trade and the 2015 International Trade Award, presented to the region’s Outstanding Exporter of the Year by the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce.

What More UK was established in 1999 in what director Tony Grimshaw describes affectionately as ‘a Nissen hut on the outskirts of Accrington’, producing a small range of plastic gardening products.

Right from the start, What More stuck rigidly to a model of reinvesting profit in the best machinery and the best people available to develop new products and build its product range, achieving sales of £4.3 million in its first year.

It has diversified into manufacturing traditional brushes, brooms and the rapidly expanding range of Wham Cook non-stick and enamel bakeware.

Tony Grimshaw said: “We’ve invested more than £6 million in new machinery since 2014 and we spend around £2.5 million annually on new product development.

“It’s an overused word, but we really are passionate about British manufacturing and its importance to the local, regional and national economy. Innovation and a quest for affordable excellence are what keep driving us forward.”

What More also supports the community that sustains it, backing a number of local good causes both as a company and through staff-led initiatives. Last year it became the major shareholder in iconic local football club Accrington Stanley, where it sponsors the ‘Wham Stadium’.

What More is this year also sponsoring the awards ceremony for the inaugural Hyndburn Business Awards.

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