One thing we’re good at in Burnley is not letting a situation keep us down and one business in the borough who have kept going, innovating and growing is Panaz.
Based on Bentley Wood Way at Network 65 business park, Burnley Bondholder Panaz are known for their high-quality decorative fabrics and wallcoverings for the hospitality, healthcare and corporate sectors.
Burnley.co.uk visited them and were in fabric sample heaven, with hundreds of materials and designs on show at their impressive HQ. However, with the majority of their business traditionally providing hospitality and commercial venues with their products, the family business needed to innovate to stay relevant and financially strong.
We spoke to Rollie Attard, chief operating officer at Panaz, who told us: “We’ve spent the past year innovating, reflecting and creating new products. Of course, the workspace and hospitality sectors were massively hit, but we made the best of the situation. Hopefully, we’ll come out of this better prepared to take advantage of the rebound.”
Panaz holds many NHS contracts, a sector which was busier than ever of course, but the organisation needed to diversify to ensure other revenue lines.
One way in which they innovated was the launch of Shieldplus, an antimicrobial nanotechnology protection that has been tested as 99.99% effective against COVID-19 and other viruses and bacteria for up to 90 days. This is available in both a spray and laundry product, with the spray passing food safety standards. The products are currently being used within the fashion industry, warehouses, healthcare, senior living accommodation and hospitality, with the laundry product being used by every Premier Inn in the UK. Consumers can also purchase Shieldplus directly from Panaz, marking the first time the business has stepped into the B2C market.
An attractive place to work
We were not only impressed with Panaz’s innovation, but also as a Burnley employer.
There are over 90 employees based at its site, with careers from product development and marketing to logistics and finance. In fact, as we were there on a hot and sunny day, an ice-cream van arrived on site.
“I’d promised everyone an ice-cream van for working so hard and so they could enjoy it outside in the sun. We’ve been operating during all of the lockdowns, serving the Nightingale hospitals, and it’s credit to our staff. And of course, demand has surged for our antimicrobial textiles. We are Europe’s leading supplier of antimicrobial textiles, these are typically used in hospitals and senior living establishments, but we’ve seen demand rise in the hospitality sector with everything going on. This technology secured Panaz a Queen’s Award 15 years ago,” Rollie explained.
Free ice-cream aside, Panaz is an attractive place to work. Rollie told us that employees receive “fantastic salaries and benefits” and he’s keen on attracting further talent within the borough and surrounding areas.
“It would be great to also hire people from cities such as Manchester, the reverse commute means you avoid traffic and Burnley is a great place to work, with fantastic countryside on your doorstep to enjoy.”
Panaz is also big on sustainability, something which is important to many employees. They have developed a range of 100 per cent recyclable fabrics. Interestingly, the Silicastone solid surface and tile range is made out of broken pre-consumer ceramics such as baths! There is a 30 per cent breakage rate for consumer ceramics and Panaz takes this waste to create fabrics.
They have also created a recyclable flame-retardant back coating. Rollie explained that many materials that could be recyclable are often then treated with flame retardant, which unfortunately then does render the product as not recyclable, so it’s fantastic to see Panaz tackling this issue.
Thank you to Panaz for having us and we look forward to seeing how you innovate and grow over the coming months.