Operations director Mark Hodgkinson steps up.

The UK’s largest manufacturer of natural slate, Welsh Slate, has appointed a new managing director.

Mark Hodgkinson takes over the reins of the North Wales-based company after 11 years as production director, prior to which he was Welsh Slate’s business development manager.

However, Mark’s expertise with slate goes back further than that, to when, as an independent consultant, he worked extensively with the company in redefining manufacturing processes, material planning and improving productivity.

A keen sportsman, Mark, 51, also counts consultancy roles with foundries, clay quarrying and processing companies, and construction companies among his experience.

Now he is set to lead Welsh Slate, part of the Lagan Group, through a testing period for the UK construction sector, with skills and materials shortages among the challenges ahead.

However, Welsh Slate’s extensive variety of uses, from roofing and cladding, through flooring, paving and walling, to decorative aggregates and worktop counters, means there are also many opportunities ahead.

He said:

“Welsh Slate is fortunate in that it is a much sought after material for heritage and specified projects but it is important for our customers that we continue to provide sustainable reserves of material, innovative use of materials, and value for money and I am looking forward to driving that on behalf of the company. However, we will never lose our craft. We have an incredibly passionate and resilient team, who while honouring it, have not been scared to develop other skill sets to remain competitive, and I am proud to be a part of that team. We are the custodians of what many people, not just us, will tell you is the best slate in the world.”