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Delivering the right fit

Any business needs solid footings to thrive. So when plastic packaging maker iPac sought to dig deeper marketplace foundations through an additional County Durham base, it chose Karpet Mills to help turn its blueprint into reality. Here, Steven Hugill speaks to Karpet Mills’ director Joel Dickinson and iPac managing director Jonny Catto, to learn more about the project and its significance within the sixth-generation floorings group’s diverse portfolio.

Strong businesses arise from robust structures.

A talented team; a market-leading product; a healthy financial book – each fundamental to growth and all built from comprehensive operational frameworks.

Success is driven too by a business’ very foundations, from the brick-and-mortar hubs that deliver present-day services while lending room for tomorrow’s innovations.

And when thermoformed plastic packaging maker iPac sought to extend its physical footprint, in a new 40,000sq ft production and warehouse base on Tanfield Lea Industrial Estate, near Stanley, County Durham, it turned to sixth generation floorings group Karpet Mills to do just so.

Harnessing the vast experience and knowledge of its commercial flooring division, Karpet Mills designed and fitted coverings tailored to family-owned and managed iPac’s unique needs.

Specialist safety flooring – complete with integrated skirting – was added to communal routes leading to production areas, with similarly hard-wearing covering laid in a staff canteen and changing areas to meet heavy footfall. Further support was provided, through luxury vinyl tiles and carpets, for office space and the site’s reception area.

“We’re thrilled with the look and finish of the job; iPac has been a fantastic client to work with,” says Karpet Mills’ director Joel Dickinson.

He adds: “We’ve delivered products to a very high specification that meet iPac’s budget, as well as its functionality needs and aesthetical requirements.

“It has been great to play a part in the building’s creation.”

Jonny Catto, iPac managing director, adds: “We initially approached Karpet Mills regarding office carpets.

“However, it quickly became apparent their offering fitted our needs across the wider site.

“As a producer of food-contact packaging, standards and specifications are critical in ‘high-care’ areas, and we had a variety of needs.

“Karpet Mills assisted us in determining appropriate specifications and designs, and provided a flexible and professional service throughout our site development phase.

“We’re extremely proud of the standard and finish, and are absolutely delighted with the finished article.”



The significance of the project, though, extends much further than bolstering iPac’s boundaries and, by association, its growth ambitions across core food and pharmaceutical markets.

For Karpet Mills, whose 146-year history includes spells as a cabinet maker, coffin manufacturer and furniture purveyor, it emphasises an enduring adaptability that continues to maintain the firm’s presence at the head of the floor coverings market.

With its premium Designer Flooring business – which recently worked on Jesmond’s deluxe Towers Court apartment complex – supplemented by an order book that melds school, dental surgery, care home and local authority work with stellar names such as Durham Cathedral and the refurbishment of Northumberland’s lavish Matfen Hall hotel, Karpet Mills’ offer is as rich as it is diverse.

Joel says: “We are familiar to many people as the company that supplies luxury residential carpets and flooring.

“But our commercial flooring division is an equally important part of the business, and the two complement each other very well, delivering very high specification finishes that fit clients’ varying budgets.

“Our commercial flooring offer delivers all types of products, from hard-wearing carpet tiles to stain resistant polypropylene broadlooms, gel-backed velour, vinyl and safety flooring, stair nosings and more.

“And because we’ve been operating for six generations, we have a very broad bank of experience.

“Such knowledge and expertise cannot be bought; it comes from years of delivering projects and understanding the nuances – and potential pitfalls – of every job, which is hugely valuable for a client.”


Pictured, above, from left to right, are Jonny Catto, iPac managing director and Joel Dickinson, Karpet Mills’ director


Joel adds: “Flooring can be a complex sector, but with the expertise of our dedicated team, which plans and designs projects from inception to fitting, we’re able to deliver the best service, to the highest specification and standard, whatever the job and budget.

“And because we’re able to help clients navigate the whole process, that level of support is particularly invaluable when businesses move premises or expand, like iPac.

“If a client is returning a property to its original condition at the end of a lease, for example, we can provide products to help with that, all while keeping costs down.

“Similarly, if a business is fitting out new premises, which can often be a daunting proposition, our breadth of knowledge and experience means we can support that too.”

And such balance, says Joel, leaves Karpet Mills well placed to grow across the coming year.

He says: “Despite the well-documented economic headwinds, we’re extremely excited for 2024.

“We’ve seen a really good start to the year, on the back of a strong 2023, and have some exciting projects in the pipeline.

“We worked really hard last year to navigate inflationary challenges, which included focusing on accessing high volumes of flooring ranges to keep prices incredibly competitive.

“Added to the green shoots we’re seeing in the economy, it leaves us very optimistic for the months ahead.”

For any commercial flooring enquiries, please contact [email protected]


May 9, 2024

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