A brief history
We were established in 1947 as ‘Borough Polishing & Plating’. In this time before the mainstream use of plastics, we were originally involved in metal finishing, offering Gold, Nickel, Cadmium, Silver, & Zinc plating.
In the early 1960’s our current Chairman, David Coombes, joined his father’s business. It was David who pioneered the switch from plating metal to plating plastics. One of our early successes with this new process was to bring some decoration to washing machines by chrome plating the plastic door surround on washing machines.
In the late 60’s it was the turn of the booming automotive industry to recognise the benefits of plating on plastic. We were able to deliver the consistently high quality finish that traditional metal techniques could not match, at a price the car manufacturers found equally attractive.
Xjs HeadlampsGreat British brands Austin and MG were the first companies to approach Borough for chromed interior components as style inside cars became as important as the exterior. Then in 1974 we passed the stringent quality requirements of Jaguar and began supplying our first exterior parts, which were headlamp bezels for the futuristic XJS. At the same time Ford started using plated plastics for trim parts on the much-loved Cortina, a true icon of the 1970’s.
The success of Borough attracted the attention of Norman Hay Group, the largest metal finisher in the UK at the time, who acquired Borough in 1974. We then supplied a range of parts for the Jaguar XJ40 project and Borough became a 1st Tier supplier for all exterior chrome plated plastic for Jaguar in this period.
Injection moulding for plating requires experience and expertise to ensure consistently high quality plating is achieved. To guarantee control over the quality of the moulded parts, in 1985 Borough set up its own injection moulding workshop, allowing us to meet the ‘Mould & Plate’ demand from major automotive accounts.
Through the late 70’s and 80’s, the fashion for chrome had seen something of a slow-down, with car designers favouring a painted finish to more traditional chrome, which led us to develop our painting facility for Jaguar components in 1986.
In 1990, recognising the strength of Borough’s offering and the shift back to chrome for all the major automotive manufacturers, a management buy-out by the current board created a new independent company, Borough Ltd.
Immediately the management recognised the need to invest for the future and the first item on the shopping list was new premises. The decision to relocate was fuelled by a growing demand for chrome plated plastic once again, in the automotive industry, as predicted by the board; chrome was once again what the public wanted.
In 1997 Borough purchased our current home in Progress Road, Leigh-on-Sea, which offered the room we needed to expand our moulding operation. In 1999 we installed and commissioned a fully automated plating plant, which required a total investment of £2million.
the noughties and beyond
In the latest round of investment, we have installed new Engel moulding machines, with unique tie- bar-less technology that improves efficiency and economy, whilst allowing us to use much larger tools to mould larger parts, for entire assemblies.
Our move proved successful. The business has now grown to employ more than 80 people and delivers some of the highest quality moulded and plated parts available to the automotive industry. We work with some of the most recognizable car brands in the world, a few of which we have worked with for decades – see if you can spot them amongst our pictures.