Established in 1999 and based in the North West, What More UK Limited is a British manufacturer specialising in market-leading housewares and bakeware. Growing rapidly since their inception, the company is now the third largest manufacturer of plastic housewares in Europe.

Interview with Tony Grimshaw, Director at What More UK.

Easy Engineering: A brief description of the company and its activities.

Tony Grimshaw: What More UK Ltd began life in November 1999. They began life as a plastic housewares, storage and garden planter manufacturer. They entered a marketplace with a multitude of established UK competitors, along with, many, many European and Far East suppliers. Undaunted, they began their, continued to this day, philosophy, of invest in their manufacturing capability, invest in the estate and most important of all, invest in their people.

Our apprenticeship program is a key element, it’s all about continuity to support the growth.  An equally import area is to create a smooth, relationship with our suppliers. They are a very important and respected member of our team.  Growth through that investment, through market penetration and through acquisition. 

As the ever-moving game stands, What More UK Ltd still manufacture Plastic products. In fact, they are undisputed U.K. brand and market leader and have been since about 2008. Through acquisition, they are now the UKs leading manufacture of bakeware and cookware too. They own Firsteel, who provide the coated steel for their bakeware/cookware manufacture, the company also export its product worldwide. They own a toolmaking company, that along with their in-house tool room, refurbishing and manufacturing new moulds for the bakeware/cookware operation. In bakeware/cookware, we control everything, from the drawing board to the oven. They also own several other associated companies. They even own a football club, one of the 12 founder members of the English Football League, Accrington Stanley FC. Manufacture and distribution of our products is done from a state of the art, 550,000 sq ft facility in East Lancashire UK. That is soon to expand by another 80,000 sq. ft. On completion of a new build project now underway.

E.E: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

T.G: We are U.K. brand and market leader. We sell our product worldwide. We have exported to 75 countries around the world.

E.E: What’s the news about new products/services?

T.G: We have just completed the revamp of our plastic extrusion machines. Replacing a total of 60 machines, along associated automation, courtesy of BMB in Italy and Krause Maffei in Germany. We have also completed the purchase and installation of 5 Anew fully automated presses in our bakeware/cookware facility. 

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

T.G: Colour, innovative design and ability to supply, what is wanted to where it’s wanted are the drivers to affecting and to meeting the demands of market trends. They have their attention continuously on all those demanding areas. 

E.E: What are the most innovative products/services marketed?

T.G: Depth and full coverage of all our manufactured product groups are key. Push Pan, an award-winning baking range they manufacture is a prime example. With well over 20 sizes and shapes in that range. Its unique and patented design, mirrors what they try and achieve across all their product areas, metal and plastic.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2024?

T.G: They are continuously investigating acquisition opportunities. The trick is to keep the existing plates spinning. With the close and continued cooperation and support of their suppliers, the gained expertise of the What More team, What More UK Ltd are well practiced at this. They see no problems achieving all the set targets for 2024 or 2025 for that matter.