Ready to go that extra mile for their trade and industry leading customers within the world of building and design and supply chain functionality is British Ceramic Tile Ltd (BCT)
The extraction of naturally occurring clay from the area of Dartmoor (pictured above) has been happening for a century and a half, and has been the raw material used for tile manufacture in the factories (both old and new), based at Heathfield, Devon.
It was founder, Frank Candy’s, Candy & Co of Great Western Potteries, Newton Abbot, who occupied the Heathfield site initially. Candy & Co manufactured drain pipes, chimney pots, wall tiles, and ornamental bricks (pictured left) and in an ideal South Devon location being so close to extensive white clay reserves.
J Howard Fox then purchased the company from Frank Candy in 1880, and by the turn of last century Candy tiles (marketed as ‘Devon Tiles’) were gracing many a suburban building. Decoratively glazed and fired ceramic tiles appeared in porches and kitchens and around fireplaces, and later domestic wares, ornaments and art pottery pieces were being manufactured under the name Wescontree Ware.
In 1936 Wescontree Ware was changed to Candy Ware, and by 1950 Candy Ware ceased manufacture of the Art Pottery. Post WWII however, there was strong demand in Britain and Northern Europe for tiles for kitchen and bathrooms and so the company enjoyed a period of sustained growth. Despite this, the Candy Tiles business went into decline from the 1970s onward because up to 80% of tile products were being imported from abroad; from Italy, Spain, and, later, from China. Candy Tiles were still producing until the 1990s, operating in tough economy. After receivership, the business was sold and then sold again and BCT bought the business in 1998. The site at Heathfield has since been cleared and a new state of the art tile factory works, shop, and design studio built.
THE MANUFACTURING PLANT
In recent years and because of being so uniquely placed to supply tiles the company are able to meet the diverse needs of their customers effectively. The manufacturing plant has received huge investment because BCT continues to source raw materials locally, and the heat and rainwater/waste water connected to the production is recycled/reused. Carbon emissions are being reduced across the whole operation. More details of Environmental Policy detailed online.
From 2012 the company has re-positioned itself. Changes have resulted in a reduced workforce, largely because of the production of high-end tile products using HD (inkjet) technology and a reduction in output of commodity tiles. These days it is the product and innovative design that is paramount and the key to ongoing success. In-house ‘designers and technicians translate current trends and technological advances into commercial and production efficient tile ranges’ which includes Ted Baker and Laura Ashley.
There is much web based information available, PROJECT is a brand for the commercial market specifically and are grouped into five key market sectors to simplify the specification process, so a place for architects, specifiers, builders and interior designers particularly. To the company’s The House of British Ceramic Tile website which allows access to product and company information and includes a tile finder which enables a defined search across the tile ranges and where you can also carry out a search to find your nearest stockist/retailer.
The Hub is sales and marketing arm of the business based in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire. Also housed at this Northern base is a new product gallery designed to showcase BCT’s unique products and services. The company’s distribution centre is in Cullompton, South Devon.
BCT now claims around a quarter share of the UK’s tile market and it is a pleasure for TSS to profile yet another business with such a strong British heritage and with a future that looks really bright.
— TSS NEWS (@TSSComms) August 17, 2015
— TSS NEWS (@TSSComms) August 28, 2015