Leeds based Yarwood Leather is the first UK leather manufacturer to introduce the impressive Gerber Taurus II, a state-of-the-art leather cutting machine used primarily for precision leather cutting in the aviation, automotive and retail furniture industries.

The company received a funding package from Yorkshire Bank to help cover the cost of the new machine and the package was delivered by Jonathan Russell, relationship manager at the Bank’s business and private banking centre in Leeds.

As a result of the investment, Yarwood has also taken on additional staff to operate the Gerber Taurus, which requires three experts to mark, cut and finish the leather before this goes onto the sewing team. The new machine will help service new clients including one of the UK’s biggest furniture retailers which recently signed a contract with the firm.

The investment comes as the UK begins to see a return in custom from businesses used to outsourcing part of the process to the Far East. With supply chain problems and a narrowing of price differences, companies are reverting to British leather manufacturers, such as Yarwood Leather which can guarantee quality and efficiency.

As one of Europe’s largest stock-holders of leather, and with the capacity to offer clients a full service – from manufacturing through to sewing – the firm is ideally placed to take on new contracts.

Established in 1967, Yarwood Leather is a specialist in leather processing as well as a stockist and distributor for a variety of industries. In recent years it has gone from strength to strength, and has taken on an additional 10 staff in the last 12 months alone.

Now operating with a team of 40, Yarwood’s managing director, Nick Batty, has ambitious growth plans for the firm: Nick says: “Yarwood Leather has experienced impressive growth in the past few years and we expect this to continue, particularly in the aviation and upholstery sectors. Our new leather cutting machine is the latest of its kind and will operate in tandem with our other machines, helping to fulfil a growing order book for customers across industries.”

“We have a very positive relationship with our manager, Jonathan Russell, who is always keen to listen to our ideas, helping us to implement our growing ambitions for the company by providing a range of Yorkshire Bank facilities to support our changing needs as we take the business forward.”

David Maybury, head of Yorkshire Bank’s Leeds business and private banking centre, says: “Yarwood Leather is a great example of a local, thriving business being sought out thanks to their specialist expertise. Their investment is a testament to the ambitious nature of the company which has helped them position themselves as Europe’s biggest leather stockist. We’re proud to have been able to support them along the way and look forward to seeing them grow.

“As economic conditions continue to improve, Yorkshire Bank remains focused on supporting the growth ambitions of businesses across Yorkshire.”

Yorkshire Bank recently launched a series of lending initiatives for UK businesses, designed to encourage growth for new and existing customers. As well as capital-free periods for up to five years, the bank has also introduced high percentage funding for businesses to purchase trading premises.

Yorkshire Bank has also strengthened its support for UK SMEs by becoming the first to partner with the British Business Bank under its ENABLE Guarantees scheme. Up to £125m of new lending by Yorkshire Bank will help more small businesses achieve their growth ambitions.