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Machine boost for Dereham firm

PUBLISHED: 09:29 06 June 2009 | UPDATED: 15:16 07 July 2010

Three new businesses specialising in creating customized trophies and sports and work attire are bucking the financial trend and going from strength to strength in Dereham.

Three new businesses specialising in creating customized trophies and sports and work attire are bucking the financial trend and going from strength to strength in Dereham.

And now the trio 4Work, 4Sports and 4Trophies, whose parent company is ECS Group, have invested in a new £23,000 computerised embroidery machine to help expand the businesses.

Both 4Work, which specialises in creating work clothing and accessories, and 4Sport, which provides team sportswear and kits, were launched in January, while the engraving arm, 4Trophies, was launched in February.

Since then the businesses have between them created 7,000 items and are looking forward to completing an increasing number of orders with the help of the new computerised Barudan four head 60 needle embroidery machine.

Gary Cockaday, director of ECS Group along with Terry Howard, said: “We had been outsourcing a lot of embroidery for larger orders but we felt that we had a lack of control on the quality so we invested in a £23,000 machine.

“With the new machine we can do up to four garments at a time so we can do a complete football strip in an hour. Before it would have taken us a day.

“It is going to transform our turn around times and the quality of the finished product and it will allow us to cope with the ever increasing workflow coming through.”

Mr Cockaday said the businesses have so far taken orders ranging from one to more than 1,000 items, and that about 75pc of their customers were from Norfolk. They have also had orders from organisations in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and as far away as the Isle of Wight.

Among the organisations they supply are Dereham Wanderers FC, Brooke Cricket Club, Norfolk FA, and Budgens.

“It is difficult to predict the future, especially at the moment, but I would like to think the three businesses are something we can really build on,” said Mr Cockaday.

“Hopefully at some stage we will move to bigger premises and create further employment in the area.”

As well as the two directors the businesses currently employ three staff between them.

They share a workshop on Rash's Green industrial estate offering embroidery, engraving and a number of print options.

For more information on 4Work, 4Sports and 4Trophies call 01362 854447 or visit

www.4trophies.org.uk, www.4sportsteamkits.com or www.4work.org.uk

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