AN AGRICULTURAL fabrications company is growing rapidly as it taps into the popular ‘glamping’ market and sees demand for its designs soar across the country.
Family-firm, Ellipse Fabrications, has moved into Stainton Grove Industrial Estate, in Barnard Castle, run by Business Durham, to cater for the growth in its business. The firm designs and manufactures agricultural sheds; garden centre canopies and now mobile glamping pods for campsites with their distinctive curved roofs.
Founder, Stuart Metcalf, believes the ‘up market’ camping sector offers further opportunities for growth and had the idea for a glamping pod on wheels following an enquiry at an exhibition
“It’s taking something which is pretty off the shelf for us and adapting it for the market as each of the leisure shelters can be customised to whatever the clients wants,” he said.
“The response we’ve had to it has been quite remarkable. The things which set it apart are the veranda, which others don’t seem to have, and the quality of internal space. Others seem to have curved roofs running in the opposite direction so it tends to feel a bit claustrophobic at one end. We’ve created more headroom so people tell us it feels enormous by comparison.”
Stuart grew up on a dairy farm near Staindrop and studied for a degree in agricultural engineering before a career in the horticultural engineering sector. He’d previously been involved in another business until launching Ellipse in March last year, which now employs eight staff. With 30 years’ experience, Stuart and co-director wife Julie, are looking to take on more staff later this year as the business expands.
“We’re pretty innovative in what we do. We have a core customer base and they work with us. Customers come to us with challenges, like ventilation issues, and we come up with the solutions,” added Stuart.
Stainton Grove is run by Business Durham, the economic development organisation for County Durham working on behalf of Durham County Council.