MAJOR investment in people, infrastructure and new technology is paying off for Senator International with customers buying its range of office furniture in ever increasing numbers around the world.

Senator was founded in 1976 by current chairman Colin Mustoe with just three employees.

It now employs around 1,000 staff at its headquarters in Altham, plus growing operations in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Australia.

Major investment in the company’s manufacturing capability and research and development, coupled with strong overseas sales growth, helped drive its sales figures through the £100million barrier for the first time last year.

It has also embarked on its own apprentice training programme to develop technicians, sewing machinists, cutters, sprayers and upholsterers after recognising there was a shortage of people leaving college with the specialised skills it required.

Senator has taken on 10 new apprentices who will attend Blackburn or Burnley College as well. They join 12 other apprentices taken on this year who are studying towards an NVQ.

Ian Blackburn, sales director, said: “We as a business invest in people, it’s about the people. We have about 1,000 workers here in Lancashire. We invest an awful lot in training, new developments and design technology.

“I am a passionate believer in what we do as a business. We are about being a British manufacturer, we fight the trend of taking manufacturing across to the Far East.

“We are a family-owned business. We hit the £100million mark last year and are going to be same again this year. Export markets for us are growing.”