A HISTORIC Keighley company is expanding.

Stell Cardboard Tubes has bought a division of Bradford-based Holmes Mann & Co Ltd.

The deal paves the way for further investment by both firms in their core businesses.

All five employees in Holmes Mann’s cardboard tube division will transfer to Keighley.

Stell managing director, Richard Guest, said: “We’re excited by the opportunities this deal creates.

“It will mean increased investment in our production and a greater presence in our home northern markets, allowing better service to both existing customers and those formerly with Holmes Mann.”

Barny Holmes, managing director of Holmes Mann, said the move “simplified” its business.

“It allows us to concentrate on what we’re great at – providing our customers with a tailored and bespoke range of quality packaging materials,” he added.

Both privately-owned companies together have a history dating back more than 270 years.

Stell Cardboard Tubes was established in 1872.

It recently relocated to a new, purpose-built base at the ex-Oakworth Joinery site in Royd Ings Avenue, after outgrowing its former home of 123 years at Holme Mills in Fell Lane.

The former joinery plant was stripped back to its concrete base and steelwork and then rebuilt.

Relocation was made possible after Stell’s secured a £4.2 million finance deal from HSBC bank.

The firm also received an £88,500 grant from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s Business Growth Programme.

Advice throughout the fundraising process was provided by chartered accountancy firm, Clough & Company.

Stell Cardboard Tubes has seen a 60 per cent growth in sales over the past decade and now employs 95 people in the town.

Mr Guest added: “The business was established to serve the local textile market but has diversified into label and tape cores, packaging and pyrotechnic/firework tubes and a range of niche applications.”

Holmes Mann was established in 1890 and has been at its present site, in Little Germany, for 62 years.

It has a 37-strong workforce.

Legal advice during the deal negotiations was provided by Umberto Vietri – of AWB Charlesworth Solicitors in Keighley – and Steven Millward, corporate partner at Schofield Sweeney LPP.