Burnley firm helping build the 2022 World Cup
For Clarets fans, the prospect of having a Burnley representative at the World Cup in Qatar in 2022 is a heady concept, but little do they know that such a notion is already guaranteed.
The representative? Nortex International Export Ltd, a freight forwarding company that has transported crucial infrastructure to Doha as the city evolves and prepares to host the £138billion event.
Nortex, with its headquarters on Rossendale Road Industrial Estate, has been in Burnley since its birth in 1991, handling “everything and anything” in the exporting business from paintings to grand pianos, bread making equipment to printing presses.
In the last seven years, the company has transported water treatment equipment out to Qatar, with Managing Director, Stephen Sadler, saying: “Qatar had a vision, so as part of that they were putting infrastructure in. It’s not glamorous, but you can’t grow without this first step.”
“There are people who have worked here for 26 years,” Stephen added. “We all get a buzz from taking on these projects and seeing them through to fruition.”
Working in such a geopolitically tense part of the world, however, throws up certain issues, with Nortex having to literally circumnavigate the restrictions imposed on the Persian Gulf due to the recent Gulf Cooperation Council crisis, which has seen many gulf states cut off diplomatic and trading relations with Qatar.
"The problem initially was horrendous," said Stephen. "All the shipping lines call at all of the countries in the Middle East to collect exports, but when the boycott came in, the GCC wouldn't allow any shipping lines to call at their countries, which is a real problem.
"The way around it was Oman, which is a neutral country," he said. "They've taken over the mantle, so the shipping lines call at Oman on route, with the goods then shipped on to Qatar."
Despite its CV stocked with international trade - Nortex has also completed projects in Oman and Kuwait and are now starting work on a £9,000,000 project in Saudi Arabia and another in Kenya - the East Lancastrian firm takes pride in representing Burnley on such a global scale.
“We move goods from all over the world for a company in Dubai, which is testament to us as a company based in Burnley,” Stephen explained of Nortex, which employs 18 people. “We’re not one of the big boys with 200 offices around the world, but we make things happen.
"We work with a lot of local companies too, there aren't many in East Lancashire we don't work with," he added. "We’ve been here for 26 years so we’re obviously doing something right."