Security on Screen managing director, Peter Mawson takes a trip to visit Paxton’s new Electronics Centre just outside Brighton.
Since its humble beginnings in a small factory in 1985, Paxton Access’s growth has been pretty inspirational. And, with a highly energetic and enthusiastic Adam Stroud at the helm, it is easy to see how the firm has reached such levels of success. That’s also why it was such a pleasure to attend the opening of their new Electronics Centre and meet up with the team.
Paxton’s new state-of-the-art Electronics Centre sits nestled between the universities of Sussex and Brighton, with the site encompassing the company’s UK headquarters Paxton House, the Paxton Technology Centre, and their public facing product test facility Brighton EMC.
The modern campus is where Paxton products and systems start their development journey and route to international markets, and, as well as standing as a monument to its success, the new centre represents the next step in the security technology developer’s vision for their UK technology park.
The Paxton Electronics Centre has taken just under a year to transform from a dilapidated warehouse into a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility with an emphasis on developing new techniques for sustainable production.
Andrew Clark, Manufacturing Engineering Manager, has been instrumental to the project. He explained: “We have invested in a new surface-mount line and installed a new wave solder line. All the new manufacturing equipment is energy efficient to the latest standards.
“Additionally, we have set aside part of the facility with a long-term vision for investigation into new efficient, sustainable and innovative manufacturing techniques.”
On the new facility, CEO Adam Stroud, commented: “We are extremely proud of the Paxton Electronics Centre. It is a world-class manufacturing facility that will support the needs of our customers and planned rapid growth for a decade or more.”
So, a bit about Paxton.
Paxton is a British technology manufacturer that began in a small factory in Sussex in 1985, when local businessman Tony Brotherton-Ratcliffe invented a single door keypad reader called the TOUCHLOCK. This put the company at the forefront of the electronic access control evolution, which the company continues to innovate around smart devices and video technology.
Adam Stroud started at the company in 1996, taking the reins in the 2012, and using his boundless energy to develop the company further, taking what was a relatively quiet office and a manufacturing facility in need of some development and transforming it into company we see today – a thriving technology company with a reputation for its vibrant culture and working environment.
In 2022, when founder Tony Brotherton-Ratcliffe retired, he handed over the position of non-executive group chairman to his son Sholto, meaning that the company remains family-owned.
The company now employs over 400 people globally and provides security technology to over 64 countries, securing approximately 30,000 buildings annually with their security systems Net2, Paxton10, Entry, and PaxLock.
Security On Screen’s Peter Mawson comments: “I met Adam when he started and what struck me most were the coherent aspirations that he had for the business.
“To me there seemed to be such a leap to make – from the working practices and product delivery at the time to what he aspired towards, that the media cynic in me left thinking he was a good talker, but questioning whether he could really do what he said he would. However, he has. He proved the cynic in me wrong. Stroud is now recognised as one of the industries change merchants, and I know he has won awards for his achievements and for the Paxton brand.”
Those awards include a clutch of local awards as well as a number of security industry awards including an Outstanding Customer Service Initiative award at The Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs) 2023, and an award for Corporate Social Responsibility at the British Security Awards, as well as many more.
Being a local, family company based in Sussex, it’s important to Paxton to invest in the local community, and specifically in training up the next generation of engineers and technologists. Paxton’s STEM scholarship programme offers scholarships to students who study STEM courses at the University of Brighton and University of Sussex. Successful applicants receive £10,000 each towards their university fees and a three-month paid work placement worth £1,625 per month before tax within Paxton’s experienced engineering department.
Its investment into the local community isn’t limited to its educational programmes either, with the firm regularly donating to local charities, such as Teenage Cancer Trust, which it supported this year, and Mind, which it supported in 2022. Plus the company gives to food banks and other causes.
It’s Paxton’s people that are at the heart of its operations and the aesthetics of the new Electronics Centre are a testament to this, having been designed with employee collaboration and their personal wellbeing in mind. There are ergonomic rest areas, collaboration spaces, a gym, and an impressive rear sun deck that has views out to the sea in line with Brighton’s i360 viewing platform.
Not surprising then, that, just recently, Paxton scored high on the Best Companies survey in the first quarter of 2023, with employees voting the firm 22nd overall to work for in the UK. They are also currently named 2nd in the manufacturing sector.
Stroud added: “One of Paxton’s key objectives is to be among the very best places to work. The environments provided for our employees is one way in which we can make this a reality whilst facilitating productivity and innovation.”
The CEO concluded: “As a proud UK technology manufacturer, this investment confirms our commitment to international growth, local jobs, and British manufacturing.
“We continue to invent and develop forward-thinking real-world security solutions for our valued customers globally.”
On his experience of the new Electronics Centre and visit to Paxton more generally, Peter Mawson added: “There’s an atmosphere in Paxton that makes you want to join in, help, support, work alongside and it doesn’t matter if you’re walking past the customer support teams, sales or factory staff, the one thing they all share is a genuine sense of achievement that their ‘bit’ is making a difference – and it does.
“The cutting-edge Experience Centre and wider business offers the latest in production, product sourcing and manufacturing techniques that ensures Paxton are future proofed, relevant, viable and profitable in the short-, mid-, and long-term future. Explaining the philosophy as to how the company continues to stay ahead of the pack as a Family-owned business, Adam shared some interesting insights – there’s a vision and a deep understanding of brand management and product development in Stroud that’s playing out, and this story will continue.
“Essentially, there are some people and teams that are personable and exceptional, and I have to say, in my humble opinion, the ‘Paxton Family’ is one of those.”
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