A Birmingham-based fire door manufacturer has invested in new machinery to help increase its efficiency and production capabilities, thanks to support from Lloyds Bank.

Knowles, part of Sentry Fire Safety Group, manufactures timber fire safety and security doorsets, working with construction clients and local authorities.

The business has been run by the Knowles family for the past 100 years. In 2022, it was acquired by Doncaster-based Sentry Fire Safety Group, and employs around 100 people from the local area.

To support growing demand, Knowles decided to purchase three new pieces of manufacturing machinery, using a £400,000 investment secured from Lloyds Bank.

A beam saw has been introduced to cut wood to size for its doors, increasing capacity and reducing bottlenecks at this stage in the manufacturing process. Its new boring machine will be used to add the doorframe legs, meaning the entire manufacturing process can now be completed at the same site. A linear spray machine has also been installed, which paints and lacquers the doors before self-stacking them for storage.

The machinery will increase the overall speed and efficiency in the manufacturing process, reducing lead times and waste materials. An increase in its capacity will also enable the business to develop its presence in new fire build markets, thanks to Lloyds Bank’s support.

Steve Horner, managing director of Knowles, said:

“We are seeing significant demand from construction firms in the UK, which are building rapidly to help tackle housing shortages in some of our major cities and are increasingly focused on fire safety. In particular, we are seeing increasing demand for high rise residential buildings in many London boroughs, as well as northern cities such as Birmingham and Manchester, and there’s no sign of this slowing down anytime soon.

“The new machinery will help us respond to the evolving needs of our existing markets, as well as exploring new areas for expansion. Technology in the manufacturing sector is developing fast. Thanks to the support from Lloyds Bank, we’ve been able to update our machinery and in turn, maximise new opportunities for growth.”


Claire Carr, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, said:

“We have worked with Knowles for more than ten years, funding the business’ machinery needs and property purchases, and have remained by their side throughout the acquisition and subsequent period of rapid growth.

“We are committed to supporting the construction industry by enabling key suppliers such as Knowles to grow, as well as ensuring that Midlands manufacturers can stay ahead of innovation in the sector with investment in the latest technology. We look forward to working with Knowles as the business enters its next centenary.”

Issued on behalf of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking by Citypress


For press information contact:

Georgia Spencer – +44 161 235 0341 / Georgia.Spencer@Citypress.co.uk