Packaging firm hosts visit from Bank of England

By Ben Carey on 10 April, 2024

Bank of England Deputy Governor Dr Ben Broadbent has visited protective packaging manufacturer GWP in Cricklade.

Dr Broadbent is specifically responsible for the bank’s monetary policy, including monetary analysis, banknotes and data and analytics transformation. He also has shared responsibility for international macroeconomic analysis, strategy, and engagement.

Along with his colleague Jamie Barber (the South West Representative for the Bank of England), he visited GWP’s Cricklade site, meeting with Managing Director, Ruth Cook.

The visit included a tour of the company’s manufacturing facility, followed by a discussion regarding business at GWP, the outlook for the protective packaging and wider manufacturing industries and the current economic climate.

Ruth, who herself sits on a local Bank of England group that has met quarterly over the last ten years, said, “We were delighted to host Ben and Jamie on their recent visit. Besides a very productive discussion regarding the challenges and opportunities we are seeing, it was great to be able to show them the technology, people and innovation that we employ at our business.

“The protective packaging industry is a great barometer for manufacturing and the wider economy, so it is really encouraging that the Bank of England takes a close interest in how we are doing.”

GWP became part of Macfarlane Group PLC, the UK’s largest protective packaging distributor, following its acquisition in early 2021.

Martin Lawell, Macfarlane Group Financial Analyst, added, “Although there has been a continued focus on the distribution side of our business, Macfarlane’s manufacturing division has grown considerably over the past couple of years. Being able to engage with the Bank of England provides encouragement that the strong foundations we have put in place will allow us to continue our plans for growth as we move into 2024.”

GWP Group currently employs around 100 people across two sites in Wiltshire (Cricklade and Salisbury), designing and manufacturing a wide range of bespoke protective packaging products.

The wider Macfarlane Group comprises more than 1,000 employees, with sales of more than £280 million in 2023 across the UK and Europe.