A COMPANY that helps people fit out their homes with luxury bathrooms has itself taken a step up the property ladder.

County Durham-based shower enclosure designer and manufacturer Roman has bought a new site to support its growth across export markets.

Roman is experiencing increased demand for products within the UK and from the markets of Europe, the Middle East and Far East.

The business has a 110,000 sq ft head office and manufacturing plant on Whitworth Avenue, on Aycliffe Business Park.

It also rented 22,000 sq ft space for Corian fabrication– along with eight other tenant businesses who take up the remaining 26,000 sq ft of space in a nearby unit.

Roman has now bought the entire site, including the building where it was previously a tenant and surrounding land, so it has more flexible opportunities to accommodate business growth when required in the future.

Currently employing 230 people, it hopes to create more jobs in future.

Bosses have assured other tenants in its recently-acquired premises that it has no plans to take over their space but that the purchase 'is a strategic acquisition that provides better space for expansion in future, adjacent to the existing head office property'.

Managing director David Osborne said: “Roman has become a market-leading shower designer and manufacturer in the UK, and we’ve seen a steady increase in demand for our products both within the UK and internationally year-on-year – winning the Queens Award for International Trade in 2017."

The move was made possible after the company secured a £2m funding package from HSBC UK.

Mr Osborne said: "HSBC UK has always been incredibly supportive of our business objectives, and this next step enables us to use the space we tenanted more flexibly, while also giving us an opportunity to continue to grow our operation.”

Gordon Forster, area director with HSBC UK, said: “Purchasing this site was a natural step for Roman, and we’re pleased to support the business as it implements a plan for the future to meet steadily increasing demand from its existing markets as well as potential new export markets.”

Roman Showers opened in 1985 selling bath screens.

The company now designs and manufactures an extensive product range that covers high quality shower enclosures, wetroom panels, bath screens, shower trays and a range of shower accessories.

For the loan and acquisition, Roman was advised by Stuart Henry, relationship director at HSBC UK, and Roman and HSBC UK were advised by Beth Thompson of solicitors Muckle LLP.