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One of Sheffield’s oldest family businesses – Granton Medical celebrates 20 years of manufacturing innovative healthcare product

  • Granton Medical is celebrating 20 years of manufacturing Self Seal Sterilisation Pouches which ensure healthcare products are kept sterile and safe before use
  • The Sheffield-based family business is 417 years old and one of the oldest companies in the UK
  • The business dates back to 1601 and has survived two world wars, the bubonic plague, the Sheffield Blitz and 12 recessions

The family run business based in Sheffield, which started during the Tudor era, is this month celebrating 20 years of manufacturing Self Seal Sterilisation Pouches, a simple, yet effective product which can help prevent the spread of infection in dental surgeries, hospitals, veterinary practices, podiatry and tattoo clinics.

The company has been at the heart of the medical devices industry for many generations. Started in 1601 by the Ragg family, Granton is now run by the Kirkby family – direct descendents of the Raggs. Over the years the Raggs manufactured many different forms of cutlery, knives, scissors, swords, cut throat razors, tuning forks and razor blades. John Ragg is credited for the development of the first ever safety razor produced in the UK in 1840.

In 1929 the Company started making surgical blades before identifying a gap in the healthcare market– sterile medical packaging. The Sheffield based business was amongst the pioneers of the first sterile packs for single use blades in the early 1960s, when Gordon Ragg worked with the UK Atomic Energy Authority on sterilisation by gamma irradiation. Now the firm, who have defied the odds in business by surviving two world wars, the Sheffield Blitz, bubonic plague and 12 recessions, are celebrating 20 successful years as the UK’s largest volume manufacturer of self-seal sterilisation pouches.

The company takes an innovative approach to manufacturing self-seal sterilisation pouches. They use a unique, high speed, fully validated production technology which enables Granton to produce innovatively and efficiently at exceptionally high speeds with their custom built plant, in their ISO Class 7 Clean Room facility in Sheffield.

Director of Granton Medical Katie Kirkby, comments on the importance and value of self-seal sterilisation pouches: “At Granton, we pride ourselves on being the UK’s largest manufacturer of self-seal sterilisation pouches. We never underestimate how important our product is to the healthcare industry – we are at the start of a crucial chain and by ensuring that our self-seal pouches work effectively we are reducing the likelihood of cross infection and spread of diseases.”

“Granton’s self-seal sterilisation pouches include a self-adhesive strip which creates a validated seal that will withstand sterilisation. The products are suitable for use in any healthcare or hygiene setting where sterilisation and infection control practices are required including hospitals, dental practices, community care and research centres.”

This month, Granton celebrates its 20th birthday manufacturing this innovative product but this isn’t Granton’s first milestone. The family business is 417 years old this year and has had much to celebrate over the last four centuries.

Katie continues: “It’s incredible to think how long Granton Medical and its forebears have survived. Especially when you look back over the last four centuries and what we have withstood. Wars, revolutions, recessions and in more recent times a sharp decline in the manufacturing industry. It’s been a challenging time for manufacturing since I’ve been with the Company – particularly in the North of England.

“Granton Medical has survived and thrived because we have adapted, evolved and identified gaps in the market over 400 years – we haven’t stood still, we have manufactured what is needed by consumers. From originally making cutlery to now producing products and services for the healthcare industry, I’m proud that we’ve retained our family values and that we are still manufacturing here in the heart of Sheffield.”

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