Drumming up support for cancer charity

A drums manufacturer based in Harborough is opening its doors to the public for the first time in 28 years to help raise money for charity.

Percussion Plus, which is based at Welland Business Park in Valley Way, will be selling directly to schools and the wider public in a bid to raise cash for the Pancreatic Cancer UK charity.

There’s a strong emotional reason behind the move, as the town firm’s boss, managing director Paul Cobbett, is fighting the disease himself.

Ten per cent of the income generated in the first month of the shop opening to the public will go to the charity.

Percussion Plus is the UK’s only manufacturer of tuned percussion instruments such as drums, xylophones and glockenspiels. The Market Harborough factory makes a range of products but until now – for nearly three decades – has been exclusively supplying to trade distributors.

As well as its own products, the firm supplies drum kits and other instruments made by other manufacturers, making it the UK’s leading supplier of percussion instruments to schools.

Its turnover is between £1.5million and £1.8m a year.

Mr Cobbett said: “We have a massive factory and we just sell to the trade from the front of it. But now we are turning it into a shop.”

Its registered office is in Andover, Hampshire, but two-thirds of its 30-strong workforce are employed in Market Harborough.

Mr Cobbett bought the business from education equipment specialist Findel eight years ago.

Prior to that, he grew Paul Layzell Foods, of Reading, into the UK’s biggest supplier of dumplings before he sold it off to Canterbury Foods.