Gripsure sponsors St Austell RFC

We’re pleased to share our sponsorship of St Austell’s RFC.

It was great to see the team in action at last week’s game between St Austell and Exmouth. The team looked great in their shirts, and we were delighted to support the local rugby at this level. The team was promoted last season into their highest-ever league, Regional 1 South West, and is currently in 8th position in the table.

Here’s to a season filled with triumphs!

Gripsure’s decking donation to Acorns Children’s Hospice

We are delighted to see Gripsure decking at Acorns Children's Hospice in Birmingham!

Last year, the branch manager at Stirchley Travis Perkins, where Gripsure products are stocked, was contacted about the Hospice‘s project to improve their memorial garden. Our team gladly donated non-slip decking boards to the project, and wish all the best to the wonderful Hospice staff!

Thank you to Lee Pace, Branch Manager at the time, for facilitating the donation.

Gripsure levels up with European funding for new technology upgrade

We're thrilled to announce that we have received a Digital Transformation grant to support us with purchasing a new-to-business Sage 200 ERP System.

This funding will allow us to upgrade our current system to a more modern and efficient one that will help us streamline our business processes and improve our overall performance.

Our new ERP system will enable us to better manage our resources, automate routine tasks, and provide more accurate and timely data to help us make informed decisions. We believe that this investment will help us achieve our long-term goals and remain competitive in our industry.

We’re excited to get started on this projectand look forward to sharing updates as we progress. Thank you again to the European Union for their support and investment in our company’s future.

This project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Gripsure hosts charity golf day

Gripsure and Just Mortgages are delighted to be sponsoring the inaugural Charity Golf Day, on Saturday 29th April 2023, in aid of Little Harbour.

Little Harbour is one of three hospices run by the charity Children’s Hospice South West, providing care for children and young people with life-limiting conditions, as well as support for their families.

Based in St. Austell, Little Harbour offers a home-from-home where children and young people with life-limiting conditions and their families can take a short break away from home to recharge their batteries in a homely, warm and welcoming environment. This respite service provides a much-needed break from the ongoing strains of caring for their children at home, juggling professional and medical appointments as well as maintaining family life and employment.

In addition, Little Harbour also provides specialist palliative care, a sibling service for brothers and sisters, emergency support, end of life care and a bereavement service for as long as is needed.

About the day

We have 20 tee times available, starting at 10am, and once they’re gone, they’re gone! Included in your ticket:

⛳   18 holes of golf in teams of four
⛳   Prizes for the nearest pin, longest drive, team Stableford
⛳   Raffle entry
⛳   Tea/coffee and bacon bap on arrival

How to Enter

Whether you’re a golfing novice or fancy yourself as the next Rory Mcllroy, we would love for you to join us on the day, all in the name of charity!

To enter, please visit our Just Giving page to donate £240 as a four-ball. Please then email confirmation of your four players, along with their handicaps, to Mike Nicholson at mike@gripsure.co.uk to receive your starting time.

All £240 goes straight to Little Harbour. To learn more about the fantastic work Children’s Hospice South West does please visit their website. We hope you can help us support this brilliant charity.

Meet the Gripsure team: Achim Rohr, Head of Sales D/A/CH Region

Achim joined Gripsure SAS in 2022 and is now responsible for growing the brand throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We catch up with him to find out a little more about his role with the company and his interests outside of work.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I particularly enjoy the variety in my work and the fact that I always meet new customers, suppliers and businesses across different regions and always learn something new.

I’m also a fan of natural timber and have always enjoyed working with wood, so I’m naturally interested in the wide range of applications for our products and finding out about the different projects where our decking is used.

What skills and personality traits do you think are most important in your role?

Getting enjoyment from dealing with people, always wanting to learn something new and being reliable. I rather promise less and then deliver more than the other way round. This way you build trust and place your customers at the centre and if you do that consistently, success for the business will come almost as a side effect.

The ability to deal with a multitude of tasks and to prioritise them effectively without getting stressed is also important in my role, particularly at this stage where we are building the Gripsure brand in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Fortunately, I have two great teams supporting me from both France and the UK.

What did you do before you came to Gripsure and how does that help you in your current position?

I’ve been working in business development and sales for more than 25 years across a range of industries ranging from publishing to software development, fine foods, media production & broadcast to building supplies. I’ve been providing consultancy services in the UK for many years, mostly with a focus on business development and sales as well as export strategies.

Having spent a lot of time working closely with business owners of SMEs as well as some startups does not only help us, but in particular our customers, since I have learnt to view requirements through their eyes in order to understand what’s really important to them. This often helps to turn customers into long-term business partners. So for me it’s not simply about selling a product, but finding the best solution for our customers.

Who or what inspires you?

Nature. If you take the time to observe nature you can learn so much, it provides me with constant inspiration. With people, I’m inspired by those who have achieved a high degree of skill in a particular discipline. I’m not talking about intellect here, but about an intelligence to overcome your own ego in order to “flow” from a natural state, without limiting thoughts.

In my late teenage years I had the good fortune to train under Dan Inosanto, one of Bruce Lee’s teachers and later also to train with a couple of Muay Thai champions in Thailand. That was really inspirational and has influenced me to this day.

In my twenties I spent some time on retreats in Buddhist monasteries, some of the monks who I met there have also been an inspiration to me.

What is your greatest achievement (or what are your greatest achievements) in your career or personal life?

Working in a business development and sales environment has always provided me with the opportunity to have a major impact on a business’ growth. In general, I have always felt a sense of achievement when successfully completing a new business launch in a new market for one of my clients, or proving the viability of their concept or a new product. Seeing a company grow and take on new staff because of new business I had generated for them has always provided me with a sense of achievement.

On a personal level I was quite committed to my favourite sport in the late eighties and managed to win several Kickboxing competitions including German Kickboxing Champion and European Contact Karate Champion, I was quite proud of that.

I also spent nearly three years travelling across South and Southeast Asia and Australasia in the early to mid-nineties to satisfy my curiosity about foreign landscapes, cultures and their people. It was a great experience helping me gain lots of insights, the achievement for me was my “degree in the university of life”, something I treasure to this day.

By far my greatest achievement though is a well-balanced and active lifestyle with a happy family living in one of the most beautiful coastal areas in the Southwest of England, this is priceless to me.

Fun Facts:

  • Former German Kickboxing champion and European Contact Karate Champion (late 80s)
  • Used to have an underwater videography business in Thailand
  • Fully qualified PADI Open Water Scuba Diving instructor
  • Previously registered as a stuntman for Hong Kong’s Shaw Brothers Studios (…and then turned down a request to perform a car chase – otherwise I’d likely be at the bottom of Hong Kong harbour now…)

Slippery Decking Day 2023: when are decks most dangerous?

We have named Sunday 29th January ‘Slippery Decking Day 2023’. That’s because this is when all the contributing factors are aligned, putting us at the greatest risk of an accident as decking in the UK reaches ‘peak slipperiness’.

Traditional timber and composite decking boards become dangerously slippery when wet or icy and as the result of the build-up of algae and leaves. We have pinpointed the last Sunday in January as the day when ordinary decking is potentially at its most treacherous.

January is the wettest month of the year, with ice more likely as average temperatures drop towards the end of the month. Mean monthly evaporation is at its lowest, causing decking to stay wet for longer. Algae is also most likely to be prevalent during the winter and after a wet spell, while fallen leaves are decomposing and becoming slippery.

Short daylight hours add to the risk and, with people more likely to venture into their gardens at the weekend, this increases the likelihood of accidents.

Gripsure Managing Director Mike Nicholson said: “Despite its many benefits, traditional decking has one major disadvantage: it becomes dangerously slippery when it’s wet. And that’s a big problem, particularly here in the UK where it can make a garden a no-go area for much of the year.

It’s fair to say that at Gripsure we’re obsessed with the slipperiness of decking. We understand the combination of factors that can make decking dangerous because it’s what we’ve been tackling for more than a decade. We’re not only committed to increasing safety, we also want people to make the most of their outdoor spaces throughout the seasons.

Our team of decking experts has assessed all the risk factors and the combination of wet, cold weather, damp conditions and rotting leaves and algae creates a perfect storm. We believe Sunday 29th January is the day in 2022 when decking will reach peak slipperiness, putting people at risk of accidents.

While we created Slippery Decking Day as a light-hearted event, it does have a serious message and we want to highlight the dangers. We hope Slippery Decking Day will make people think about changes they can make to safely enjoy their gardens all year round.

The slip ratings of surfaces, including decking, are measured using the Pendulum Test Value (PTV), with a rating of more than 36 being regarded as ‘low slip’. Crafted from sustainable timber and aggregate inserts, all Gripsure decking achieves a minimum value of PTV 85, which is classed as ‘very low slip’, and exceeds the British Standard for slip resistance.

Gripsure has experienced a surge in demand from homeowners during the pandemic. We are also proud to have provided our non-slip decking to high profile customers, including Kew Gardens, the Eden Project, Center Parcs and the University of Cambridge.

#SlipperyDeckingDay2023

The journey of Gripsure: from Cornwall to Japan

“When we started out, I don’t think we ever imagined that we would be expanding the business into new territories in such a major way,” says Mike Nicholson, Managing Director of Gripsure UK Ltd, who established the company in 2005 and is now one of the best-known decking brands in Europe.

Over the last 18 years, the UK’s leading non-slip decking company has invested heavily in developing its product innovation and growing in new international markets and, after a lot of hard work, Gripsure has now established a manufacturing plant in Japan.

Mike says, “Gripsure is now recognised as a worldwide business and global brand, and we have benefitted greatly from the help and support of the Department for International Trade with this Japanese venture, which has helped us to realise our ambitions for the company.

The journey to setting up a base in Japan began in 2019 when Gami, the owner of Ikegami & Co Ltd based in Fukuyama, Hiroshima, paid a visit to the UK to see first-hand a project at the University of Cambridge featuring non-slip Accoya decking and custom graphics. Gami was so impressed with the product and spotted an opportunity to launch Gripsure in Japan.

In summer 2019 Gami visited our base in Cornwall, and we discussed his interest in producing Gripsure’s non-slip decking products under licence in Japan. Later that year I flew out to Japan to discuss the project in more detail and we met with the British Embassy in Tokyo,” adds Mike.

A few months later, in January 2020, an agreement was signed by Ikegami and Gripsure which allowed the non-slip decking products to be manufactured under licence locally in Japan and a Gripsure manufacturing plant was sent to Fukuyama, as part of the deal.

Mike says, “Of course, what happened next is well documented – the Covid 19 pandemic stopped the world in its tracks and when the plant arrived in Japan in April 2020, we had no choice but to wait until we could move forward with the project.

Gripsure was unable to visit Japan and commission the manufacturing plant at this time, which inevitably resulted in a delay to the launch of the product. After months of ingenuity from both parties the Japanese plant is now fully operational.

“There was a real desire to make this work successfully. We overcame the language barrier and time difference to become experts in using video calling to help us virtually assist the team in Japan to build the plant,” says Mike.

Ikegami & Co Ltd had their first exhibition in March this year, and Mike Nicholson and Maxime Caroff, Director of Gripsure International, finally managed to visit Ikegami’s Japanese manufacturing plant in early October.

Gripsure also has a wholly owned French company and is planning to establish its non-slip decking brand in 12 more territories during the next five years.

Mike was recently appointed an ‘Export Champion’ by the Department for International Trade (DIT) and recognised as a successful exporter dedicated to helping inspire and encourage other British businesses to sell their goods and services internationally.

Mike says, “We hope that by raising the profile of our partnership with Ikegami in Japan it will serve as a great example of what can be achieved and hopefully inspire others.

As an Export Champion, I am dedicated to helping other companies explore the opportunities that international exporting provides and assist them to open in new markets around the world. I want to share our experience and knowledge with others and show how we turned our exporting ambitions into reality.

Export Champions are an appointed community of business leaders that work in partnership with DIT. As volunteers, Export Champions often speak at or host export events, drawing on their expertise and sharing insight on their international sales experience to boost export capability.

Paul Shand, DIT’s Head of Trade in the South West says, “Businesses find it truly inspirational to hear from successful exporters like Gripsure – their insight and practical advice help businesses make the most of their potential to sell world-class goods and services internationally.

Gripsure produces anti-slip decking for homeowners and commercial customers in the UK and across the world from its base in Cornwall and has a team of 18. It produces 250,000 linear metres of hand-crafted decking boards in Cornwall every year and has supplied decking to high-profile customers, including Center Parcs, Edinburgh Zoo, the National Trust, and Kew Gardens.

The company was recently awarded two internationally recognised ISO accreditations for quality management and environmental management systems. It also holds several certifications and memberships for its exceeding excellence in leading industry standards.

More Information

You can find out more about Ikegami & Co Ltd at www.woodwise.jp. For details of how the Department for International Trade can support UK businesses to grow in new markets, visit www.great.gov.uk.

Cornish manufacturer Gripsure appointed ‘Export Champion’ by government department

Leading Cornish manufacturer Gripsure is celebrating after being appointed an ‘Export Champion’ by the Department for International Trade (DIT), it has been announced today.

The UK’s leading non-slip decking company, based at Higher Bugle near St Austell, has been recognised as a successful exporter dedicated to helping British businesses sell their goods internationally. Gripsure produces anti-slip decking for homeowners and commercial customers in the UK and across the world from its base in Cornwall and employs 18 staff. The company, established in 2004 by managing director Mike Nicholson, is now one of the best-known decking brands in Europe.

It has a wholly-owned French company and a manufacturing partner in Japan and is planning to establish its non-slip decking brand in 12 more countries. Gripsure’s team regularly attends trade shows all over the world and is looking at further expansion with its products being manufactured and sold in North America, Australia, and Japan. Gripsure produces 250,000 linear metres of hand-crafted decking boards in Cornwall every year and is now recognised as a worldwide business and global brand.

Export Champions are an appointed community of business leaders that work in partnership with DIT to inspire and encourage more UK businesses to sell their goods and services to the world. The community is currently formed of over 400 business leaders across England, 30 of which are based in the South West. As volunteers, Export Champions often speak at or host export events, drawing on their expertise and sharing insight on their international sales experience to boost export capability.

Gripsure Managing Director, Mike Nicholson said: “Being made an ‘Export Champion’ by the Department for International Trade is a real honour and this achievement is testament to all the hard work put in by the whole team to make Gripsure the successful business that it is today. We are delighted to be part of this prestigious group of ‘Export Champions’ and to be able to offer advice, share connections and mentor others. We have benefitted greatly from the help of the DIT and expand into territories that might never have imagined when we were starting Gripsure eighteen years ago. We are now investing heavily in developing our product innovation and growing in new international markets.

We are dedicated to helping other companies explore the opportunities that international exporting provides and assist them to open up in new markets around the world. We want to share our experience and knowledge with others and show how we turned our exporting ambitions into reality.

DIT is the UK government department responsible for championing open and fair global trading that drives growth, creates better jobs and higher wages, and improves living standards in this country and around the world.

Paul Shand, DIT’s Head of Trade in the South West, said: “As influential voices in the business community, DIT Export Champions play a pivotal role in encouraging and inspiring more UK businesses to sell overseas. By sharing their experience and expertise, the network helps other businesses realise there is a global demand for their products or services and that whilst there might be some challenges ahead, there is help and support available.

Businesses find it truly inspirational to hear from successful exporters like Gripsure – their insight and practical advice help businesses make the most of their potential to sell world class goods and services internationally.

Gripsure will be exhibiting at a leading trade show Carrefour International du Bois in France in June and at the American Institute of Architects conference in Chicago later the same month.

With a fast-growing consumer market, Gripsure has supplied decking to high-profile customers, including Center Parcs, Edinburgh Zoo, the National Trust, and Kew Gardens. The company was recently awarded two internationally recognised ISO accreditations for quality management and environmental management systems. It also holds a number of certifications and memberships for its exceeding excellence in leading industry standards.

For information on how DIT can support your business to grow in new markets, visit www.great.gov.uk

Gripsure commits to tree planting partnership with Plant One Cornwall

Cornwall-based firm Gripsure, the UK’s leading creator of non-slip decking, has committed to planting hundreds of trees this year across the county in partnership with woodland creation organisation Plant One Cornwall.

The company, which manufactures anti-slip decking for homeowners and commercial customers in the UK and across the world, aims to create new habitats in Cornwall and re-establish woodland areas with the help of the not-for-profit community interest group, based in Helston. Gripsure is committed to planting one tree for every order that is placed with the company.

Cornwall has low levels of tree cover and one of the worst records in Europe, compared to other countries. The UK has an average of 13 percent of tree cover and Cornwall has only 9 percent, due to harsh weather conditions and historically high demand for wood in mining and shipping activities.

Rai Lewis, co-founder and managing director for Plant One Cornwall said: “Having the support of Gripsure is vitally important to the work that we do, it’s absolutely everything. If we didn’t have the backing of companies like Gripsure there is no way that we could plant more than 6,000 trees across Cornwall each year. The UK is in the bottom 12 of biodiverse wild spaces, so we really need to ‘up our game’, especially as we only sit above the most industrialised countries in Europe, such as Monaco. We plant trees because they have so many environmental benefits, we are trying to be a force of good.

Because Cornwall has such a tough climate, it’s more difficult for trees to establish themselves. Many people don’t realise that the county is meant to be covered in trees – we should have a temperate rainforest or upland oakwood habitat and that is what, together with Gripsure, we are trying hard to reinstate across Cornwall.

Gripsure has a long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability across all its business operations and was recently awarded ISO 9001 for quality management systems and ISO 14001 for environmental management.

Gripsure Managing Director, Mike Nicholson said: “This is not a token gesture or us jumping on the environmental bandwagon, we’re not just paying lip service – we are doing this for all the right reasons. We want to reduce our overall carbon emissions and we’re committed to striving towards the business becoming net zero carbon. We are continually looking at new and different ways to minimise our environmental impact across our activities, from working with sustainable FSC and PEFC certified timber to reducing waste. We aim to provide high-quality, environmentally sustainable products, and customer service.

With the help of Plant One Cornwall, we can get more trees in Cornish soil and work towards increasing the UK’s canopy cover. We are passionate about supporting and helping to create local habitats and nurture native wildlife. We are absolutely delighted to be involved with the positive work that they are doing and look forward to joining the team on their tree planting days later this year.

Gripsure and Plant One Cornwall are currently assessing several tree-planting sites in the county with the aim of getting new trees in the ground during the planting season between November this year and March 2023, dependent on weather conditions. The native trees, which will include Cornish and English Oak, Italian and Black Alder, as well as Wild Cherry and Willow, will be planted at a low density, mimicking already existing habitats enabling wildlife to thrive. These saplings or ‘whips’ have a higher resilience to climate change and absorb Co2 at a faster rate in the early stages of their growth.

Rai Lewis added: “We will really start to reap the benefits of these woodland areas in a short space of time. People will be able to walk under the boughs within ten years. The biggest and most immediate impact the trees are going to have is the valued resources they hold for wildlife. For example, an oak tree hosts 1,200 species of insects and birds for food and shelter and some flowering or pollinating trees will have an impact from two years of age.

Gripsure manufactures non-slip timber decking from its base in Cornwall and sells it to homeowners and commercial customers across the UK and internationally. Now one of the best-known decking brands in Europe, Gripsure has a French company and a manufacturing partner in Japan and is planning to establish its non-slip decking brand in 12 more countries. With a fast-growing consumer market, Gripsure has also supplied decking to high-profile customers, including Center Parcs, Edinburgh Zoo, the National Trust and Kew Gardens.

Gripsure boosts performance warranty on non-slip decking to 15 years

We're excited to announce we now offer our customers a 15-year performance warranty on our non-slip decking.

First manufactured in 2005, we are one of the most popular decking suppliers in Europe. Handcrafted by our team in Cornwall, we have years of expertise in designing decking boards that can guarantee non-slip performance. We are so confident in this pledge that we have recently boosted our warranty from 10 to 15 years. If you’ve been considering installing garden decking, here are some of the reasons to consider non-slip over anything else.

A thorn in the side

After putting the graft into your garden to extend your home and create a relaxing outdoor space in the summer, it is a shame that many become inhospitable once winter arrives. With rain falling on average 156 days a year in the UK, it’s easy for lawns to become waterlogged or muddy.

For many, the logical solution is to install a decking area that creates space to be enjoyed all year round. However, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. You don’t have to tiptoe your way across a sludgy lawn anymore, but you do have to contend with slippery garden decking.

January puts deck users at the greatest risk of accident reaching ‘peak slippiness’ due to a combination of contributing factors. It’s because of this that we renamed 29 January 2022 ‘Slippery Decking Day 2022’.

The benefits of non-slip decking

Many are sold the mistruth that their non-slip decking will last. However, after the initial slip resistance wears off, where does your investment stand for the future? With any decking that promises anti-slip properties there is only one question you should be asking: “how long will my decking really remain non-slip?”

With the knowledge that Gripsure’s performance warranty guarantees non-slip qualities for 15 years, you can focus on the benefits of having anti-slip decking rather than the slippery grievances.

Putting the performance warranty to the test

With the ethos that gardens should be enjoyed all year round and not just within the summer months, we have our products rigorously tested to ensure their safety. Gripsure non-slip decking is tested using the pendulum test according to the UK Slip Resistance Group’s (UKSRG) guidelines. A score of 65 out of 100 is required for a non-slip surface to achieve a slip potential of ‘extremely low risk of slipping’. As well as this, the Health and Safety Executive gives three categories of risk for Pendulum Test Values (PTV) to measure up against.

All Gripsure’s decking achieves the extremely low risk of slipping category, and you can see how our PTV scores faired against the scores of an average dry and wet PTV here. Our performance warranty lets you, our customers, know that we are confident in how our decking will perform so that you can feel confident in choosing us.

For the ultimate peace of mind

For safety without compromise, choose Gripsure. Find out more information about our warranty and how to register.