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For almost 70 years, GRP composite products of the highest quality have been produced from a leading manufacturer based in Derby.
Coes of Derby was founded by Charles Bernard Harrison, an aircraft engineer with Rolls Royce during the Second World War, who became involved with the packaging of aircraft engine parts throughout the world at the end of the war. This experience led him to develop various packaging methods and materials which he eventually put to use by forming his own company in 1951. The name Coes came about in 1957 when. financial investment was given by a Mr Coe, the grandfather of Sebastian Coe. Although the investment was quickly paid off, the name Coes had by then become synonymous with quality and the name was retained.
In the 1970’s Bernard Harrison was awarded an MBE for his services to industry. Since then, Coes of Derby has built a strong heritage of quality and expertise. Testament to this is the calibre of customers that use its services. From early days, Coes has been working with various branches of the military, as well as in the aerospace industry, delivering quality goods consistently since the very start – a philosophy that runs through the heart of the company to this day.
Coes is a trusted source of quality products for a diverse range of customers, each having their own bespoke requirements which the team at Coes devotedly fulfil. The military remains a vital area of business for Coes who manufacture GRP cases for the MOD, but companies from the automotive, transport and rail industries are all key, loyal customers too.
For Coes, there is no job too big or too small but what can always be guaranteed is the level of customer satisfaction and the high standards of quality that are insisted on by the company. Coes works with each customer to fulfil the exact requirement – be this the famous Clock in St Pancras station; wind deflectors on HGVS; shower trays in prisons; pod bathrooms for student accommodation blocks; tanks for water treatment works; mobile display units in airports; and even tanning booths, thanks to years of expertise, there is nothing that the Coes team can’t turn their hand to.
In 1991, the company was taken over by Bernard Harrison’s son, Christopher, who in turn semi-retired in 2018. He was joined on the board as joint managing director by Wendy Dent who had spent 18 years working in the company as general manager and latterly as finance director. Wendy commented, “Coes has been delivering quality and innovation since 1951 and our team are true experts in fibre reinforced plastics and composites. We pride ourselves on the relationships we develop with customers and our reputation for quality – it’s what keeps customers like the MOD and Rolls Royce coming back to us!”
All Coes’ work is completed at its site at Breaston in Derbyshire where it relocated to in 2015. The modern building enables the company to deliver expanded manufacturing facilities, as well as having the scope to modernise and improve production efficiencies. Coes invests extensively in innovation and R&D to ensure that it can bring expertise to each project to enhance customer expectations – from specialist mould design to manufacturing.
Coes’ history and heritage has enabled it to develop and enhance its technologies using polyesters, vinyl esters and many other plastic processes to create high quality mouldings for a wide range of applications. A key element to the company’s approach to GRP is to combine experience working with GRP and other fibres, using the latest manufacturing processes and techniques. This now allows the company to offer spray laminating and resin transfer mouldings alongside hand laminating.
In its almost 70-year history, Coes has seen many competitors come and go but it the company’s dedication to quality and commitment to customers that keeps the company thriving.
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