Firm has winning formula

Some of the new employees with Ian Hopkinson, on the right in a lab in front of a bottle filling machine and co-director, wife Bev, third left. The others are Jake Pearson, Richard Shipman, Mick O'Toole, Ryan Selby and Jessica Pearson.
Some of the new employees with Ian Hopkinson, on the right in a lab in front of a bottle filling machine and co-director, wife Bev, third left. The others are Jake Pearson, Richard Shipman, Mick O'Toole, Ryan Selby and Jessica Pearson.
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An Ilkeston firm is branching out with a new venture, which it hopes will see it turnover millions of pounds within months.

Derwent Analytics, which makes chemical solutions and names Coca Cola as one of its clients, has spawned Harlequin BPI, set to become the second biggest manufacturer of eyecare products in the country.

The recession-busting plan by the Manners Industrial Estate firm will see it become a 24-hour operation in new premises by Autumn next year.

The eyecare products it makes will be supplied to supermarkets and pharmaceutical chains to brand as their own.

Director Ian Hopkinson explained his philosophy: “You have to continually re-invent yourself to meet new trends otherwise you will be destroyed by your competitors.”

Ian has already invested a six-figure sum in equipment and extended the clean room facilities at the company base in Falcon Court.

Expansion has been generated without borrowing a penny and Ian plans to re-invest profits to continue growth.

He is expecting a £2.5m to £5m turnover in the first year.

And six new jobs have been created, recruited from the jobs fair held by Erewash MP Jessica Lee earlier this year.

These include 19-year-old Jessica Pearson from Heanor, and her brother Jake, 21.

It is Jessica’s first job since leaving college in July and in less than three weeks she was promoted from production technician to quality and hygiene assistant to satisfy supermarkets’ requirements.

“I am so pleased to have made progress after only three weeks,” she said.

Jake has switched from being a chef to a product technician.

“He will be mixing vapour rub rather than porridge,” joked Ian.

Miss Lee officially launched Harlequin earlier this month.

“Derwent Analytics is a great example of entrepreneurial flair that we have here in Erewash,” she said.