Urban Cottage Industries shining a light on the old traditions

Managing director Jonny Steel

Managing director Jonny Steel

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Vintage lighting and print products are being given a new lease of life by Urban Cottage Industries.

Mytholmroyd-based UCI sells via the web to a rapidly growing number of customers around the world.

Linotype operator Dave Evans

Linotype operator Dave Evans

The business started in 2007 selling light fittings from old mills and factories. Demand was so great, it set about creating authentic reproductions of the original fittings. It now has a huge range of vintage lights and components.

UCI’s stationery was printed by one of the last remaining hot metal printers - Airedale Products, of Halifax. When that firm hit financial problems, UCI bought it and set about finding a market for print produced by Linotype machines and platen presses.

Consequently, UCI teamed up with Print Club London to make personalised greetings cards featuring the artwork of its artists. Bespoke Moleskine notebooks and coloured smartphone and tablet cables are also product lines.

Lighting remains the biggest part of UCI which has many HX based suppliers. UCI’s customer services operation is in-house and supported by the latest technology.

Managing director Jonny Steel said: “Success is based on people willing to spend a small amount more to get much better products. Savvy customers understand value for money is not just about price.”

The workforce has grown to 24 and the business has ethical principles which include staff having a 10 per cent stake in the business through an enterprise management incentive scheme.