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FSB members South West Play’s story of “Net profit”

FSB members from Newlyn, known for its fishing businesses, recently shared with us a great story about how diversification from their traditional family line of business has led to success in export. Business owner, Drew Davies, takes up the story:

"We have evolved from a family of fisherman and fish merchants, but our business in the last 10 years has been focused on rope and net based play equipment, using traditional methods that have been used for years and years in the fishing industry.

"However, the project that we undertook in Malta was a little bit different to say the least. Our client was another playground company who are based in Manchester and buys net based products from us. This company also manufactures stainless steel slides and has fitted slides in offices around the world. The call came when they had secured a contract where they needed our help.


"The brief from the architect who was managing the project stated that the new building was shaped to look like a boat and we were to install a net at the bow (front). The net would look like a bow sprit net that you would find on a sailing boat and the net would be there for the staff to lounge on.

"As we are based in Cornwall we had to work out the logistics of being able to get all of our equipment to enable us to install the net to Malta and back again. So after pricing up pallet rates we decided to take everything we needed in suitcases!

"The net had to have a lot of shape in it, the architect wanted nice curves and angles, which can be extremely difficult as all nets are made in a diamond form. I set about hanging the net from the various attachment points, then I went about cutting the net into shape. A 16 mm border rope was attached to give the outside some extra support as the lounging net has side walls so the staff can walk around on the net in complete safety and admire the view.

"Whilst the net was being installed it drew a lot of interest from the other contractors on site and even some of the locals where interested in what we were making.
This was a fantastic project to be involved in and it really show cased our expertise as a traditional net manufacturer. Since then we have made and installed similar nets in houses, schools and parks. It just goes to show even though we may be based in Cornwall there is no limit to where our business expertise will take us."