By Daniel Hunter

Dartington Crystal in Torrington, the UK's only factory scale crystal glass manufacturer, are set to expand following an increase in exports.

The Devon-based company has secured orders in China and as a result it is set to add to its current team with new manufacturing, sales and administration positions.

The company, which also owns the Caithness Glass and Royal Brierley Crystal brands, has secured new export orders for all three of its brands with opening orders of £40,000 in China.

Dartington Crystal secured the contract after working with UKTI's Overseas Market Introduction Service which introduced it to potential clients at a trade fair in Shanghai. It has also organised meetings with potential clients in South Korea and appointed a local distributor there using the service.

It also secured funding from the European Regional Development Fund towards the costs of visits to China and South Korea.

"Although we have had an export presence since 1967, like a lot of UK manufacturing, we went through a difficult time and our focus in recent years has been on the home market," Managing director, Neil Hughes, said.

"We have now reached a point where it seemed right to start looking at export markets again and exploring the emerging markets, particularly China, for the first time."

UKTI international trade adviser, Emma Collum, said: "Having successfully re-established itself in the UK, Dartington Crystal is now chasing success abroad and achieving results in some of the most challenging but rewarding markets with help and advice from UKTI's dedicated experts.

"The importance of exports to growth can be seen in new jobs and investment created by Dartington in North Devon as a direct result of their decision to look further afield for new markets."

'Open to Export' is a UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) initiative in partnership with hibu plc (formerly Yell Group).

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