History of Leyland – How it all began
Founded in 1922 Leyland has grown from humble beginnings to become the number 2 volume trade paint brand in the UK today.
Known as “The Professional’s Paint” Leyland has a long and distinguished history as an honest, trusted and reliable brand for the trade.
Leyland Paints was one of the first manufacturers to pioneer the development of emulsion paints for the home owner with the introduction of its “Leytex” product, a product name that is still known as a market leader today and for many years the products also carried the By appointment to HM The Queen accreditation. All products are manufactured under strict BSI standards and the manufacturing site is certified with both ISO9001 & ISO14001.
The brands’ success increased over the years as the business grew from the original site in Leyland; Lancashire with a modest workforce of 24 to over 1,000 employees by the mid 60’s by which time there was a national network of 80 retail outlets and various factories across South Africa supporting the exporting arm of the company. It was around this time when Leyland became a listed company.
Further proof of the strength and heritage of the Leyland brand is recognised through its survival of numerous company buyouts whilst continuing to perform and deliver quality trade products to its customers. Over the last 40 years Leyland has evolved from a listed company based in Lancashire to become part of the portfolio of PPG Industries, a Global leader in coatings.
Since the mid 1980’s Leyland has been manufactured in Birstall, West Yorkshire. The factory and its surroundings is one of the largest paint manufacturing sites in Europe covering an impressive 63 acres, with current warehouse space at 350,000 sq feet.
The Leyland portfolio has seen many trends and developments with the industry over the last 80 years and many of the original product names such as “Super Leytex” and “Truguard” are still so well recognised by tradesmen that they are shopped by name.
The comprehensive Leyland range offers a wide selection of trade quality paints including emulsions, glosses and undercoats, floor paint, Truguard exterior range and the Contract range specifically designed for new work. The range currently contains over 600 individual product lines across all sizes and colours. The quality and performance of the Truguard exterior range is reinforced with the industry recognised BBA accreditation.
Colour is a vital ingredient of the brand and almost as important as the product itself. The Leyland in-store tinting machines offer users an inspiring choice of over 15,000 colours, fully supported by the unique colour matching service, ColorXpress.
Behind the scenes, the Leyland brand is fully supported by a team of trained and industry experienced technical advisors on hand to provide colour schemes, specifications and technical assistance where required.
January 2007 saw a modernised Leyland identity rolled out into the market. The packaging design, website, literature and point of sale were all brought up to date with a modern, fresh new look. With customers at the fore front of the design brief, focus groups of trade users and stockists took place across the UK to determine the new design and to ensure that the new packaging aided ease of use through colour representation both in store and on site.
Impending changes in VOC (volatile organic compounds) legislation have also had and are continuing to have a massive impact on the coatings industry as a whole. 2007 saw the first step change come into force, however major changes are due for 2010 when the use of current solvent based products will be prohibited. Leyland is carrying out substantial research and customer trials to develop new solvent-based technologies that meet the new targets whilst ensuring that customer expectation and product performance are not compromised.
More recently in January 2008, Pittsburgh based PPG Industries acquired the Leyland brand as part of the SigmaKalon group and the Leyland brand is now part of this global supplier of paints, coatings, chemicals, optical products, speciality materials, glass and fibreglass. PPG has more than 150 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates and operates in more than 60 countries.