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East Midlands Chamber News

Member Focus: Trent Covers

Nottingham-based industrial textile manufacturer Trent Covers has been a prime example of how businesses have pivoted and innovated during Covid-19 to continue trading effectively. Owner Ben Lovejoy (pictured) explains to us how he’s grown his firm and joined the coronavirus fight.

 

Tell us what your company does and a brief overview of its history?

 

I started Trent Covers in 2013. It’s an industrial textile manufacturer based in Lenton, Nottingham, mainly making curtains and covers for lorries – as well as thermal and acoustic speed doors for factories, and covers for engineers, both locally and internationally. We have grown fairly rapidly over the past couple of years due to our innovative outlook, attention to detail on our products and our commitment to customer service.

What is your role in the business and what does your day-to-day role involve?

I was a one-man band up until 18 months or so ago but we’re now a team of seven. I run the accounts and marketing side of the company on a daily basis, but my main passion is for product development and innovation. Our plan for the future is to continue to seek out products in the technical and industrial textile sector, and find ways to improve them.

How have you fared during the Covid-19 pandemic?

When lockdown happened, our order book plummeted, practically drying up overnight. My focus was on launching new products and, after a week or so, we received large upholstery orders and we manufactured more than 1,000 units of medical upholstery. This meant we joined the fight against coronavirus by supplying hospitals, including the Nightingales, with medical-grade seating to aid the efforts with infection control. When that production line was set up, we brought over material from Germany and manufactured comfortable face masks, as well as importing FFP2, FFP3, Type IIRgrade face masks and visors that were CE-rated. We’re fortunate to be in a position to quickly and easily alter our product range to meet the challenges head on. From this, we were pitched a new material that kills coronavirus on contact. Our initial scepticism was soon quashed when we saw the research, test results and the first samples.

I’m very proud to be the Midlands distributor for Agivir, the surface fabric tested to kill coronavirus on contact by 99.5%, and even prouder to be the first company in the UK to manufacture with it. We fit out retailers, offices, public transport – pretty much anywhere that high volumes of people congregate without staff having the chance to clean the shared surface before the next person comes along. Having a very different product range to our industrial base, the brand Medicova was launched and we’re extremely pleased with how well our coronavirus killing products are benefitting businesses opening up to the public safely.

What are the company’s plans for the future?

Alongside the medical industry, we are about to branch out into shading, and have developed parasols and awnings, using commercial-grade materials with a long warranty at an affordable price. The material is tested to protect from UV rays with a UPF rating of factor 50.

How long have you been a member of East Midlands Chamber, and which membership products do you use?

We only joined the Chamber recently and see opportunities in connecting with others. First and foremost, to network with potential customers, but also meeting people with expertise who might support my own – and our team’s – development in HR, legal, finance and marketing.

This article appears in the February 2021 issue of the Chamber's Business Network magazine. To read the online edition, click here.

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