Innovative fishing line manufacturer secures Welsh Government backing
The Welsh Government is making a £566,000 investment to support specialist fishing line manufacturer Airflo.
Airflo manufactures the world’s only range of 100% PVC-free fly-fishing lines at its plant in Brecon and is a leading innovator in the sector.
The new investment announced by Economy Minister Vaughan Gething is expected to create 21 jobs and safeguarding a further 44.
Based on the Ffrwdgrech Industrial Estate in Brecon and owned by US-based Mayfly Group, Airflo has become a leading Welsh exporting success story, with pre-season orders forecasting a quadrupling of business to North America.
The Welsh Government investment will also enable the company to build on this growth and expand into new markets, including New Zealand and South Africa.
The investment from the Welsh Government’s Economy Futures Fund will allow Airflo to introduce a new product to market and replace ageing equipment to boost productivity.
Announcing the award, Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “I’m delighted to announce this major investment to support specialist manufacturing in Powys.
“Airflo is a unique company with an innovative product with worldwide sales potential. So, this project will not only help boost the local economy in Brecon, providing a predominantly rural area with quality employment opportunities with very competitive salaries, but it will also result in the development of a new product that will help protect the environment.
“The Welsh Government is committed to protecting our environment and this investment aligns with our long-term ambitions of phasing out unnecessary, single-use products, especially plastic, and sending zero plastic to landfill.”
For over 70 years, most fly-fishing lines have been made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride), a naturally rigid plastic. However, PVC lines begin to break down immediately after manufacturing.
As there is no real way to safely recycle a PVC line, it leads to releasing harmful plasticisers into the environment, particularly affecting the survival and biomass of soil organisms.
Welcoming the support from the Welsh Government, Director of Finance and HR at Airflo, Sherrie Wolf said: “We are thrilled that the Welsh Government is supporting our business growth. We have massive opportunities to grow our exports and at the moment we can’t meet demand!
“This loan will assist us in adding substantial production equipment and add a further 21 full time roles in the company. It’s great that Wales is open for business!”
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