Staff at Utopia’s Wolverhampton headquarters have raised over £1,110 for charity following a 10k walk last weekend. The fun annual event is organised by Matt Cox, an Assembly Team Supervisor at the bathroom furniture manufacturers. According to Matt, the walk is definitely not a race but more of a pleasant stroll with colleagues, stopping for refreshment at pubs along the way.

With so much raised already and donations still coming in, the total sum will be split between the Make a Wish Foundation, the national charity that helps to fulfil the wishes of critically ill children, and Utopia’s own Liz Green Fund, set up to benefit cancer charities and local causes following the sad passing of founding director Liz Green last year.

Despite threatening weather the group of 25 walkers had a brilliant day and are seen here at one of the stops along the way.  All the walkers wore T shirts proudly displaying the logos for the two charities.

Matt comments “As well as raising valuable funds for charity, our walk is a great way for colleagues to spend some time together out of the work environment. We had a lot of fun and there weren’t too many blisters at the end so well done to everyone who took part. We’ve already set the date for next year’s walk when we hope even more people will take part. ”

Utopia has strengthened its sales team with the appointment of James Lockey as Business Development Manager with responsibility for the East Anglian region and surrounding area.

With over 16 years’ experience in a sales capacity within the bathroom industry, James brings with him a thorough, in depth knowledge of the sector at all levels, having worked with leading manufacturers and distributors throughout London and surrounding counties.

James also benefits from a background in construction, having been brought up in a family run building company, which he credits with making him technically minded.

Commenting on his new role at Utopia, James said “This is an exciting time to be joining this award-winning British company and I look forward to forging new relationships as well as picking up with my many long standing contacts in the industry.”

What better way to celebrate a major industry award in the current heat wave than with ice creams all round?  That’s how Wolverhampton-based Utopia staff toasted the company’s recent triumph at the BKU Awards last week when Utopia was voted Best Bathroom Furniture Brand yet again.

Helen Clark, Utopia’s Head of Marketing, comments “Winning this ward for the fourth time is a fantastic achievement for us and really does demonstrate the tremendous teamwork we are so proud of at Utopia. Each and every employee plays a vital part in ensuring that we provide the best possible service and products to our customers and as temperatures soared what better way to say thank you to the team than ice creams all round.”

It’s official! Once again, Utopia has been voted the UK’s Best Bathroom Furniture Brand in the annual BKU Awards 2023.

The BKU Award scheme is run by leading industry magazine, Bathroom & Kitchen Update, to recognise and celebrate the very best in the world of bathrooms. For Utopia, to win this award yet again is a genuine endorsement of the company’s core values of inspirational design, premium quality and exceptional customer service. It reflects the sheer level of focus over the last 12 months in terms of investment, new product development and retail partnerships.

The BKU Awards are a truly independent stamp of approval as industry professionals in their thousands vote for nominated companies to determine who really is the best of the best. Utopia won the coveted Best Bathroom Furniture Brand in 2017, 2018 and 2020, was a strong finalist in 2019, 2021 and 2022, and has now reclaimed the title for 2023.

Accepting the award, Joint MD Dave Conn said “Utopia is extremely proud to be a British manufacturer of beautiful bathrooms. This industry accolade reflects the tremendous commitment of our entire team and we also thank everyone who voted for us.”

Image shows from left to right: Seann Walsh, comedian and host, Richard Shore, Head of Product Design at Utopia, Dave Conn, Utopia Joint MD, Helen Clark, Head of Marketing at Utopia, and Katie Jackson, BKU magazine.

Utopia has dramatically refreshed and extended Qube, its popular range of wall mounted and freestanding bathroom furniture, with the introduction of a second design style across the range, new on-trend colours, complementary accent handles and trims and a host of supporting ancillary items, plus a brand new fast delivery option to the retailer at no extra charge. 

Strengthening and broadening the range, Qube is now available in a choice of Qube Glide, the original handleless doorstyle, and new Qube Edge, a stunning alternative style with the option for a top mounted handle.

Four brand new door colours join the collection, including deep Indigo Blue and verdant Wild Green reflecting current trends in interior design for bold colours alongside two new sophisticated matt finishes – Matt White and Matt Grey. The four new colours join White Gloss and two existing textured finishes, Anthracite Strata and Sorrento Walnut. As usual with Utopia, samples of all finishes are available free of charge.

Further extending the choice, Qube now includes a new ceramic cloakroom basin option and a new tall toilet unit, new mirror options plus a host of new push button and flush plate options available in Chrome, Matt Black and Brushed Brass with new co-ordinating basin overflow rings.

Also extended is the choice of worktops to complement Qube furniture. The existing 22mm laminate range has been extended further with three new options, Matt Grey, Cararra Marble and Marquina, and a brand new 12mm compact laminate range of exceptionally realistic natural stone effects has been added. The 12mm compact laminate has a solid colour core with an embossed surface to replicate stone and is offered in White Slate, Grey Concrete and Graphite Slate.

Helen Clark, Head of Marketing at Utopia Bathrooms, comments “Our new Qube Collection is all about choice, giving customers the opportunity to build a completely unique combination from the multitude of beautiful co-ordinating elements now available with on-trend finishes and, most importantly, on a quick delivery turnaround, something the market is asking for. Qube has always been extremely successful and we are confident our retail partners will love this extended and enhanced offering.”

Utopia is delighted to have been Highly Commended in both the Best Bathroom of the Year category and Best Tile Collection category in the recently announced Ideal Home Best Bathrooms Awards 2023, an exceptional, independent stamp of approval from a distinguished panel of interior design experts.

It was Utopia’s Roseberry collection that particularly impressed the judges in the hotly contested Bathroom of the Year Award. Described as a modern interpretation of traditional luxury painted timber furniture, Roseberry features a classic raised and fielded door. Truly versatile, the collection is available in fitted, wall mounted and freestanding configurations and capitalises on both the enduring popularity of Shaker-inspired styling and the demand for beautiful natural timber.

Summing up Roseberry, Helen Clark, Head of Marketing at Utopia, says “Roseberry combines inspired design, luxurious materials and quality craftsmanship. We have taken classic styling as our inspiration but used innovation in our design and manufacturing prowess to create a modern classic.”

In addition, Utopia was also Highly Commended for its Tile Collection.  This extensive range witnessed a whole host of new additions last year and now comprises over eighty wall and floor tiles, offering different formats and sizes as well as bold stand-out designs, all carefully selected to complement overall room style and décor.

Chloe Powell, one of Utopia’s most recent apprentices, has successfully completed her apprenticeship and become a permanent member of staff at the company.

Under the apprenticeship scheme Chloe joined Utopia two years ago as an IT Junior Apprentice, attending Dudley College of Technology for one day each week. Having recently passed her final examinations with flying colours, Chloe is now a full time IT Administrator at Utopia.

Welcoming Chloe as a permanent member of the Utopia family, Amanda Shepherd, Finance Director overseeing the IT function, says “We are very keen to invest in the next generation of young talent and the apprenticeship scheme gives us the perfect opportunity to do that, combining formal qualifications and invaluable work experience. Chloe has demonstrated a real drive to understand the business, has worked exceptionally well with the team and actively contributed to the department. We are delighted to have her as a full time member of staff.  Many congratulations, Chloe, we wish you a very successful career ahead of you.”

Chloe comments “I have really enjoyed my two year apprenticeship with Utopia. Working in a busy and progressive IT department was ideal ‘hands-on’ experience while I studied for my examinations. Now, I am delighted to have both a formal qualification and a full time position at Utopia.”  

Four Utopia employees recently celebrated 25 years with the company.

Seen here are Steve Heap (Press Department), Steve Pitt (Solid Surface Department), John Edgington (Mill Department) and Wayne Bailey (Transport Department).

Joint MD Dave Conn congratulated the men saying “We have always known our employees are our greatest strength and we’re delighted that so many have been with us for years. Many congratulations to Steve, Steve, John, and Wayne on reaching this tremendous milestone.  We have a wonderful workforce here at Utopia and the support, commitment and dedication that our staff shows is second to none.”

As the four proved to be shy and retiring when offered a formal ceremony to mark the occasion, they were each rewarded with an anniversary gift of their choosing instead.

Kate Foster has joined leading bathroom furniture manufacturer Utopia as Business Development Executive with responsibility for the Midlands and North Wales region.

With extensive background experience in sales, Kate joins Utopia from Middletons Moblity where she was Regional Support Manager. Prior to that, Kate spent five years as Senior Showroom Manager for Bathstore, so has an in-depth knowledge of not only the bathroom sector but also a great appreciation of the workings and needs of the retailer and the requirement to be very customer focused.

Commenting on her new role, Kate says “I am delighted to be joining such a major player in the bathroom market and very much look forward to working with our retail partners.  Utopia has a tremendous product portfolio”.

Alex Patterson, Head of Retail at Utopia, commented “We are delighted to have Kate on board, her knowledge and experience will put her in good stead to build fantastic relationships with her customers moving forward.  Kate also joins us at an incredibly exciting time as we have a host of new products and initiatives launching this year.”

With the addition of a new Morbidelli UX200 drilling machine in December, now fully operational, Utopia has recently completed its latest round of investment in new machinery at its Wolverhampton Headquarters. This new machine is the fourth to be commissioned in the last twelve months and represents capital investment of £500,000.

The four new machines provide additional capacity for the business and, in certain cases, replace older models with new technology.  Specifically, the new Morbidelli UX200 drilling machine reduces machining time by 50% and in some cases 80%, while a Homag BHX and a new Homag Drillteq ABD offer further improved quality, flexibility and capacity. The fourth new machine is a Sandtech Sanding Denibbing machine which allows the preparation of all panel sizes including smaller pieces ready for finishing.

Commenting on the new machinery, Jonathan Phelps, Plant and Process Engineering Manager at Utopia says, “Investing in the very latest technology not only ensures we are manufacturing to the highest standards but also gives us a competitive edge. In addition, we want to ensure we are manufacturing in the most environmentally friendly way, along with providing the best possible working conditions for our workforce. We are delighted with the new investments and the support we have had from our supply partners.”