The HSL team at the company’s Batley production facility

HSL, a family business which employs more than 500 people and has been making and selling upholstered chairs, sofas and adjustable beds in Batley since 1968, has been awarded the prestigious Manufacturing Guild Mark for business excellence by The Furniture Makers’ Company, the City of London livery company and furnishing industry charity.

Owned and managed by the Burrows family, who established the company over 55 years ago, HSL is known for its luxury recliner chairs and comfortable sofas as well as adjustable electric beds. The manufacturing process, at the company’s Batley production site, was the subject of an episode of BBC show Inside the Factory earlier this year.

The Manufacturing Guild Mark has been the mark of excellence for Britain’s top furniture and furnishing manufacturers for 30 years and is awarded to companies demonstrating the highest standards in design, product development and function, manufacture, human resources, financial stability, sustainability and sales and marketing.

Steve Bulmer, Manufacturing Guild Mark chairman, said: “Gaining the Manufacturing Guild Mark is the result of an extremely rigorous audit and assessment process. We scrutinise every aspect of a business’s operation and the fact that HSL passed with flying colours is testament to their pedigree and credentials as an exceptional British furniture manufacturer.”


He added: “The team really impressed us with their commitment to continuous improvement. They have refined and re-engineered their manufacturing processes after establishing their own design and development team eight years ago, investing in high-spec machinery and technology to improve efficiencies and quality.”

The firm has also launched new product ranges, gaining the Queen’s Award for Innovation.

Mr Bulmer added: “Equally impressively, HSL now work with a local college, which delivers the company’s furniture manufacturing apprenticeship standards. They are also keenly focused on sustainability, reusing much of their own packaging, installing a new, super-efficient extraction system in the factory and expanding LED lighting, with plans to install solar panels at its Leeds distribution facility.”

Ben Waters, HSL operations director, said: “We are incredibly proud of our craftsmen and craftswomen and delighted to be awarded this prestigious mark of excellence from The Furniture Makers’ Company. The award is testimony to the hard work and dedication of everyone in the HSL family.”

The Manufacturing Guild Mark is only open to businesses that manufacture most of their products in the UK. Companies undergo an independent audit every three years by the Furniture Industry Research Association on behalf of The Furniture Makers’ Company to ensure their standards of operation remain high.