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Grant funding supports growth journey for UK's largest high-quality wood flooring manufacturer

With support from Durham Business Growth to access valuable grant funding and expertise, Woodland Floors Ltd is driving growth through innovation, efficiency, and upskilling staff.

From its base in Shildon in County Durham, Woodland Floors Ltd has established itself as a powerhouse of British craftsmanship. From its beginnings in August 2019 by passionate entrepreneurs Paul Wilson and Thomas Flanagan, the business has grown to become the largest manufacturer of high-quality wood flooring in the UK and Ireland.

From its fully integrated manufacturing and finishing processes to innovative product lines - including engineered plank flooring and niche magnetic products - Woodland Floors sets itself apart with a commitment to quality and speed.

Recognising the need to expand and optimise operations, Woodland Floors are on a journey of strategic investment. However, despite their success, the business faces challenges common to growing enterprises. Its split-site operation poses efficiency hurdles which will have a greater impact the more the business produces. Additionally, recruiting and retaining staff with the necessary work ethic for repetitive tasks is challenging.

The business is committed to automating low skill tasks and take a proactive approach to training which ensures a steady flow of skilled employees and will minimise turnover. Their ambitious growth plan includes acquiring cutting-edge machinery. From automatic filling machines to cobot technology, every addition aims to streamline processes, reduce waste, and unlock new levels of productivity.

This isn’t a new approach for the team who already have a strong focus on long term investment in staff. Current employees are trained in house and can use most of the machinery in the business, with cross training being part of the daily operation. However, the current set up of the processes means there is still a significant amount of low skilled tasks needing to be carried out by people, rather than machines, which is something Woodland Floors hopes to address with their investments.

With support from Durham Business Growth, the business is poised to realise its vision. Grant assistance has paved the way for crucial machinery acquisitions, enabling the company to meet escalating demand, enhance product offerings, and fuel expansion. From assessing return on investment (ROI) to optimising factory layout, each step is meticulously planned to ensure maximum impact and sustainable growth. These changes will not only support current staff development, but it is also hoped that between six to nine new positions will also be created.

Woodland Floors Ltd is not just expanding its operations but is redefining the standards of excellence in the industry. Its journey has been one of relentless innovation, driven by a commitment to quality and speed for customers, with Durham Business Growth providing the helping hand needed to see plans through. Strategic investment and a proactive approach to staff development, is creating new opportunities for growth which will allow the company to reach even greater success.

Paul Wilson and Tom Flanagan, Co-Founders and Directors of Woodland Floors Ltd said: "We are immensely grateful for the support provided by Durham Business Growth. Their commitment to fostering local businesses has been a game-changer for us. The grant we received was pivotal in scaling our operations and enhancing our production capabilities.

“With the funding’s assistance, we were able to invest in state-of-the-art machinery that not only increased our efficiency but also allowed us to expand our product range and improve the quality of our wood flooring. This investment has not only bolstered our position as the UK's leading manufacturer of high-quality wood flooring but has also enabled us to contribute more significantly to the local economy by creating new jobs and opportunities.

“The process of obtaining the grant was seamless, and the team at Durham Business Growth were incredibly supportive throughout. Their belief in our vision and potential has been a source of motivation and has propelled us to new heights. We are now better equipped to meet the growing demand for our products and are excited about the prospects of our business.

“I would highly recommend Durham Business Growth to any business looking to expand or enhance its operations. Their support can truly make a significant difference".

Stuart Armstrong, Business Engagement Officer at Business Durham said: “In supporting the Woodland Floors Ltd's directors, Paul Wilson and Thomas Flanagan, it has been clear that their incredible success in becoming the largest manufacturer of high-quality wood flooring in the UK and Ireland, is owed substantially to their dedication to continuous improvement and investment in the team.


By consistently identifying innovative opportunities within the business and with the support of the Durham Business Growth Programme, Woodland Floors Ltd has ensured they can continue to improve, grow, and succeed.


The company's commitment to expanding their workforce and advancing staff skills through the integration of new automation and machinery will further propel their business forward. I am confident that Woodland Floors Ltd will continue to thrive and challenge larger markets, and I look forward to supporting them on this remarkable journey.”


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