A U.K.-based manufacturer has opened its first international facility in Henrico County.
Local business leaders and government officials gathered Monday to welcome Detectamet, a York, England-based company that has set up shop in a 14,000-square-foot space in the county’s East End.
The company manufactures X-ray- and metal detector-friendly products aimed at reducing the risk of foreign body contamination. It plans to hire 15 employees and invest $1 million in its warehouse space at 5111 Glen Alden Drive, near the intersection of Laburnum Avenue and Williamsburg Road.
Including retractable pens and stationery and cleaning and engineering items, the company’s products are made with a polymer that can be identified by metal or X-ray detection systems. The company sells the products to food and beverage manufacturers to reduce the risk of contamination, should a piece fall into a production line.
The company selected its eastern Henrico site with assistance from the Greater Richmond Partnership, the economic development group for the Richmond area. Detectamet President Angela Musson-Smith said the company considered sites in several states before deciding on Henrico for its shipping access, schools and business community.
Musson-Smith, who runs the company with her husband, Chairman Sean Smith, said she would like to see Detectamet in three years expand to larger facilities and hire as many as 40 employees, as well as enter new markets.
“There are a lot of opportunities in Richmond with restaurants and cafes and bars, because we’re all about food safety,” she said. “We’ve also looked at working with the universities and the hospitals, as well.”
The company started in 2003 and was recently selected as one of 200 companies to be awarded the United Kingdom’s prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise, which recognized the company’s achievements in exporting – primarily to the U.S.
On-hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony were Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones, Henrico Supervisors Chairman Frank Thornton and local businessman Bobby Ukrop, among others.