WATCH: HRH Princess Anne visits Batley sofa factory
HRH Princess Royal visited Batley today, talking to employees at the HSL Factory at the Grange Road Industrial Estate.
Hosted by owners William and Debra Burrows and CEO Guy Critchlow, The Princess Royal met with several long-standing members of HSL’s Batley team, including Manufacturing Director Kevin Wall who led the tour of the factory.
HRH received a first-hand view of how the Comfort Expert’s British craftsmen and women blend traditional furniture making techniques with modern manufacturing technology and incorporate unique design principles into chairs, sofas and beds.
After the conclusion of the factory tour, Princess Anne was told of the company’s family heritage, in making chairs, sofas and beds for over 100 years, and the vast expansion it has undergone during its 50 years to now operate 59 stores across the UK and employing 500 people.
Her Royal Highness was also introduced to Julie Jennings Dip COT HCPC, HSL’s Independent Occupational Therapist, who discussed the training she provides to the company’s Comfort Experts across the country.
Owner and Chairman William Burrows commented; “It has been a huge honour for the team and myself to welcome HRH Princess Anne to the HSL Comfort House today.
"We are all very proud of the hard work and passion that goes into each and every chair, sofa and bed produced here, and so it’s amazing to share this with such an esteemed guest – what a great way to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary.”
The visit was especially apt given The Princess Royal’s patronage of The Royal College of Occupational Therapists, which received its Royal charter from The Queen in 2017.
On departure, HRH Princess Anne was presented with a special HSL plush toy and personalised child’s chair to gift to her grandchildren.