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SpaceVac International

Export Week: Northampton company set to clean up overseas

Posted: 10/11/14 by SpaceVac International

A Northampton company is set to open its first international office in South Africa, just six months after beginning to explore exporting with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP).

The new office tops off an exciting first year for Northampton-based SpaceVac, whose self-named product, was invented just over two years ago ‘to reach heights that other industrial vacuums can’t’.

The news came during UKTI’s Export Week, a week which aims to encourage companies to take up the export challenge and highlight the wealth of support and knowledge available to help them grow.

Colin will be sharing his experience with 100 businesses at Making it in Northamptonshire, a key Export Week event being held at the Daventry Icon Business Centre

The company knew it was onto something special with the vacuum after it exhibited the product, with funding from UKTI, at an international cleaning products show in Amsterdam in May and received 300 leads across the three day event.

Since then SpaceVac has been sold to nine countries, from Brazil to Norway.

The new office in Cape Town taps into the huge interest they have received from South Africa. It will be staffed by two people and create a new position in Northamptonshire. The company expect exports will help them double their nine Northamptonshire staff within a year.

Colin Lewis, MD, said: “The African market is valued at 20 times that of the UK so is a great opportunity for us. There is a huge deal of interest in the product and no real competition so we are confident of our success.”

Since beginning to sell SpaceVac a year ago, the company has seen significant growth – developing from £250,000 turnover to £1 million.

Exports, which make up 15% of the turnover, have increased by 1,000% in the last year.

Colin added:“We already knew the product was something special but attending the Amsterdam show confirmed it. We are delighted with the support we have received from UKTI and NEP as we really couldn’t have made the international progress we have without this support.”

The Cape Town office will be launched on 27 November and will include representation from the consulate of South Africa.

Chris Carr, International Trade Adviser from UKTI, said: “SpaceVac has embraced international sales and been keen and willing to follow our advice. We knew South Africa provided a potential opportunity which the SpaceVac team is really enthusiastic about.

“There is an unbelievable appetite for British products and services overseas and there has never been a more opportune time to take advantage of these prospects.

“This Export Week I’d like to urge other businesses across the area to take advantage of the support that UKTI can offer to help businesses expand. We have a range of events taking place across the region. Visit to find out more.”

David Burrows, Internationalisation Manager, NEP, said: “SpaceVac is a prime example of what can be achieved in a relatively short time with the right kind of market research and business support under your belt. The company has clearly benefited from the expert guidance on offer from UKTI and NEP to export what is a really innovative product.”

For more information or to sign up to events visit

To export contact UKTI East Midlands on 0345 052 4001 or email

Follow UKTI East Midlands on Twitter @ukti_emids and @IanH_UKTIEM and take part in the conversation using #ExportWeek

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