The Shred Centre is back on track to break through the £1m turnover barrier – despite losing a major part of its routine work during the Coronavirus lockdown.
With businesses and schools accounting for the bulk of clients using the nationwide document shredding service, the family-run County Durham firm saw much of its work dry up overnight.
However, having previously invested £200,000 in specialist equipment, it was able to diversify by handling material from other companies involved in the collection of various grades of wastepaper and cardboard.
As a result, it has increased the amount of paper it processes from 200 tonnes a month prior to lockdown to 600 tonnes per month.
Following the reopening of schools and more employees returning to their workplaces, the company is confident it can further grow the business over the next year.
The confidential data destruction specialist, based on the Merrington Lane Industrial Estate, Spennymoor, is already looking to the future as it prepares to make a further significant investment in an additional document shredding line shredder to create greater capacity and efficiency.
It is also considering options to further diversify by shredding alternative items, such as mattresses and wooden pallets.
Patrick Stephens, who founded the business with wife Natalie in 2013, said: “We were on target to achieve the landmark turnover figure of £1m this financial year, but have fallen just short after being impacted by COVID-19.
“However, thanks to the investments made over the past year, we were able to respond to the situation by diversifying into other areas – which has strengthened the business long term.
“As a result, I’m confident The Shred Centre will continue to grow and achieve a £1m turnover during the coming financial year, which is quite an accomplishment for a business founded over the kitchen table!
“Since those early days, we have doubled the size of the business every year and this year we were set to grow again. However, we experienced a nine per cent dip in revenue due to the challenges surrounding the pandemic, which could have been much worse had we not invested so heavily as the business has grown.
The Shred Centre, which offers both mobile and off-site shredding, operates six trucks and employs 11 staff offering regular or one-off collections to businesses and individuals throughout the North East, Yorkshire, North West, and Midlands.
In addition, through robust partnerships it conducts service collections in other part of the country, enabling it to offer a full UK-wide service. The Shred Centre also offers shredding services for hard drives, textiles, and media.
The paper collected is taken to the Essity plant in Prudhoe, Northumberland, where it is recycled and made into toilet roll.