Two South East Manufacturers form partnership to create an innovative hand sanitising solution in response to the COVID-19 crisis | Manufacturing Growth Programme

Contracts Engineering Ltd and Furnitubes International Ltd are two SME manufacturers that have developed a partnership to redesign an existing product – a street bollard, into a foot-operated hand sanitiser which features a pump stand and dispenser, The Zenith Foot Pedal Sanitiser Dispenser, in response to the global pandemic.

The two businesses have a close working relationship as they are both owned by BAM Group. Their skills and position in the marketplace have enabled the two companies to re-purpose a Furnitubes product into an innovative product in response to COVID-19.

The Chairman of BAM Group came up with the idea of a foot pedal dispenser and after a few rudimentary prototypes at Contracts Engineering Ltd., Furnitubes saw that the dispenser mechanism could be housed in an existing product – the Zenith Bollard.

Both businesses faced new challenges such as keeping to strict social distancing rules within the factories and warehouses, whereby they had to be adapted to at short notice. The hand sanitiser dispenser proved the perfect solution.

As a premium design to manufacture contractor, Contracts Engineering Ltd manufacture directly for a wide client base, of which Furnitubes International Ltd has been a long-standing customer. By working together as a collective the companies have repurposed a street bollard into the innovative hand sanitiser unit. Their close working relationship has enabled this joint initiative to be progressed successfully at pace.

The Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) has supported both manufacturing businesses with their business growth aspirations. Contracts Engineering Ltd were assisted with grant funding towards a business improvement project that focussed on developing leadership skills across the leadership and management scheme. A capital grant was also provided to part-fund the cost of an extraction hood for a robotised line.

Furnitubes have also been supported by MGP to develop their productivity and capacity, production planning and effective management of materials and inventory stocks and developing leadership skills across the senior leadership team.

Both businesses are proud UK manufacturers and continue to focus on developing a strong UK supply chain. They both benefitted from the job retention scheme on offer by government; safeguarding jobs, with the majority of their teams now back at work.

The Managing Directors at each business are proud to be invested in the UK manufacturing sector and are keen to support a national supply chain. They have invested financially to enable fast growth of the businesses. Both continue to grow and provide employment opportunities locally.


More details on Contracts Engineering Ltd can be found at

More details on Furnitubes International Ltd can be found at