Kent has provided the perfect springboard to catapult Bulgaro’s growth into one of the south-east’s most successful design and manufacturing interiors companies, counting some of the UK’s biggest blue-chip companies among its clients.
In 2010, this prestigious luxury brand chose Sittingbourne as the place to locate its first manufacturing facility, with a single 7,000 sq. ft. unit. Thanks to the support of Locate in Kent and Kent County Council, Bulgaro has grown the business to over 30,000 sq. ft. of space.
That support has included securing funding opportunities that has contributed more than £2.5 million of investment since 2008. That investment will continue in 2019 with the launch of a new £700,000 finishing shop, that the owners say will be among the best equipped in the UK.
Streamlined manufacturing advice
“Locate in Kent helped us greatly in our quest with our management staff by introducing a two-month programme which went through all the steps for a manager to become a better one,” explains Dean Rizov, Managing Director of Bulgaro, one of the UK’s leading, design and manufacturing interiors companies.
“We’ve also had amazing help from Kent County Council. Thanks to them, we will have one of the best finishing facilities in the whole of the country and that’s only been possible because of that support.”
Lower property costs, access to a dynamic supply chain and fast connections to London and beyond all contributed to Bulgaro’s decision to base their manufacturing operation in Kent.
It’s a decision that has paid dividends. Over the nine years Bulgaro have expanded the range of services they are able to offer clients, and it’s a lot more than your standard joinery, veneering or laminating capability.
Locate in Kent powering growth
The success of the business that has come from developing a fantastic team, combined with the support they have received from Locate in Kent and KCC to help them grow has resulted in a complete all-round range of services from upholstery and thermofoaming to solid surface fabrication and in-house material integration.
“What we have built here is really unique. There is no other manufacturing facility that I know of in the whole of the country that have all the disciplines we have in-house under one roof.” Dean says proudly.
Ten years anniversary approaching
With the company close to celebrating a decade in Kent, it’s a perfect time to look back at how far Bulgaro has come.
“Starting back in 2010 in a recession heavily hitting our industry the only way to progress, to be seen, to be noticed and be successful was to be the best in everything we did so,” says Dean.
“We only achieved that by finding the right people and the right location. In Kent, we have a great pool of people to choose from, in a county that has a great tradition of manufacturing business.
“It’s always a gamble where you base yourself, so it’s good to affirm over time that your choice was the correct one.”
“We were based originally on the outskirts of the capital, so it was a natural progression for us to be in Kent. Geographically, it provided us with an amazing location for European markets and London, which gives us 80 per cent of our business.”
And the future?
“Our first milestone will be to complete and have fully operational the finishing shop, which will increase our finishing capacity threefold. It’s a really exciting time to be playing our part in Kent’s success.
“Even if we outgrow the current facility, we know that we’ll be able to count on organisations like Locate in Kent to support us in finding a place where we can continue to grow.”