Thomas Lowe Joinery, the staircase division of the Benlowe Group, is preparing to move from its Cannock workshops to a new site at Brownhills, near Lichfield.

The £150,000 move, to be completed by Christmas, will give the fast-growing company better access to major motorway routes and allows for further expansion.

Experts at Warwick University are helping to design the layout of machinery inside the 30,000ft² factory. Once operational it is expected to manufacture more than 200 bespoke staircases a week.

Production, which has grown by more than 30% in the past two years, is forecast to grow by another 20% in 2002.

Chief executive Clyve Perkin said: ‘We have been getting away from mixed joinery and are now 95% staircases. This will allow us to concentrate on real viability as far as one product is concerned.

‘Where we are in Cannock is not too inconvenient but we wanted to move nearer Burton-upon-Trent because we have a lot of work in the East Midlands.’

Brownhills’ location within 10 miles of the M6, M5, M42 and M54 will ease distribution to national and regional housebuilders in the Midlands, Scotland, Devon, Kent and East Anglia.

Existing machinery will be transferred to Brownhills and will be complemented by new systems.

The leased site has extra space to accommodate the company’s plans for expansion in 2003, or earlier according to demand.