A MANUFACTURER which can traces its roots back to the mid-19th century has put its faith in Bury in 2020.

Bosses at Ibex Marina Ropes have only relocated their outfit a short hop from their former home in Heywood to nearby Pilsworth.

But company chiefs believe the move is proving fruitful for the firm, which started out in the traditional craft in 1843.

Managing director George Brigham said: "We relocated the bulk of the business to Pilsworth because the site is a brand new build with excellent links to the motorways. These links should help us attract additional staff, particularly on the sales side in order to help us grow.

"We are actively recruiting business administration and plant maintenance apprentices and are also looking for a recent graduate to undertake a trainee production management role.

"We grew 25 per cent last year and have worked throughout the pandemic. A reduction in the order book over three months allowed us to furlough some colleagues.

"But we are a major supplier to the Ministry of Defence and associated suppliers to the National Health Service and Network Rail and were asked to keep production running in order to service these key sectors.

"The majority of our products are elasticated, and as well as making the cord in bulk, we also convert it into end products for use in a variety of industries, such as catapult-launched drones, marine evacuation systems, fast jet ejector seats and towed seismic mapping systems, as well as less technically demanding everyday products such as dog leads, equestrian rope and sash window cord and small diameter cords used in window blinds and picture framing."

Donated cords from the Ibex production line have also been put to good use during the pandemic, as they were used by volunteers to make laundry bags and headbands for staff at Fairfield General Hospital.

The company's former home was at the Cartridge Ropery in Brunswick Street, Heywood.