Queen's Award sees praise shower down on East Yorkshire's Kohler Mira

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 15 Aug 2017

Innovation has proved the lifeblood of an East Yorkshire shower manufacturer that employs 90 people at its home at the Meltonwest Business Park.

Kohler Mira this week unveiled its coveted Queen's Award for Innovation in front of dignitaries and guests including Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding, Susan Cunliffe-Lister.

The company, whose state-of- the-art facility manufactures shower trays and baths, was handed the award in recognition of its patented anti-slip Mira Flight tray.

Managing director Liz Hazeldene said: “Innovation is absolutely the lifeblood of the business. It is critical for us on a global level.

“Being privately owned means we are in it for the long haul, the people who own the business want it to do well now and in the future.

“90 per cent of our investment is driven back in to the business, and investment is the thing we continue to invest in.”

FACTORY VISIT: Lord Lieutenant Susan Cunliffe-Lister was among the guests who visited Kohler Mira at Melton for the unveiling of its Queens Award

Simon Renilson

Mira is owned by US bathroom manufacturer Kohler Co and its shower products can be found in one in four UK homes.

The anti-slip shower tray has been designed and manufactured at Meltonwest, and has achieved a 55 per cent sales growth over the past two years.

Previously, non-slip shower trays were made by manually applying a coating, however the coating was liable to wear away and only covers a portion of the surface, with the rough texture of the coating attracting dirt.

Mira developed a process that allowed it to integrate the anti-slip surface without distortion during manufacturing, achieving a “superior level of slip protection”, together with an easy-to-clean surface with antimicrobial properties.

Ms Hazeldene said: “With traditional anti-slip shower trays, there tended to a pay off between anti-slip qualities and useability.

“Our team looked at it and thought ‘there must be a better way to do this’.

“Its development probably took about two-and-a-half years. It was quite an intuitive process, backed up with a totally scientific approach and method of testing.

“Nobody had ever incorporated an anti-slip surface into a shower tray; it had always been stuck on afterwards, but we felt that was the way forward.

“Lots of people told us is was not possible, including one of the UK’s leading plastic manufacturers, but we continued to work on it as we were determined to create something superior for our customers.”

In 2014, the factory in Meltonwest celebrated the production of its millionth Mira Flight Tray.

“Over the last two years sales of our anti-slip tray have grown by 55 per cent demonstrating the customer need and the commercial success of this product,” said Ms Hazeldene.

Meltonwest was developed by Hull-based property company Wykeland Group and has attracted a number of successful firms from Hull, including Heron Foods and House Of Townend.

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