Our Heritage

Needlers is a Hull based family business, now run by the sixth generation and proud to have been successfully trading for over 150 years. Established in 1857 as Lightowler, the company developed into five distinctive businesses over the succeeding years.

Managing Director - Alistair Needler, grandson of John Lightowler, felt that the hygiene and work wear business had grown dramatically and needed to concentrate on building its specialist service to the food manufacturing industry. Alistair carried out a Management buyout in 2009 and the business changed its name to Needlers Ltd.

Today Needlers is the UK’s leading specialist supplier of Hygiene, PPE and Workwear products to the food manufacturing industry. Needlers has a policy of continually reinvesting back into the business to maintain growth.

We deal with some of the leading UK food manufacturers including Bakkavor, 2 Sisters Food Group, Greencore, Samworth Brothers, ABP as well as a number of high profile branded manufacturers such as Greggs, Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire Puddings and Bettys and Taylors Group, manufacturer of and Taylors Coffee and Yorkshire Tea.

Really understanding our customers and evolving with their needs is the key to our success and our strong service ethic is at the heart of everything we do. This is driven by our passionate team of employees; from our drivers to our customer service team, everyone really cares about ‘getting it right’.

The company moved premises to a purpose built 53, 000 sq. ft. warehouse in Melton, near Hull in April 2012.

The new site covers 2.8 acres and boasts 6,000 sq. ft. of office space, 7,000 pallet locations and 10,000 sq. ft. of dedicated space for goods-in and goods-out, along with the option to extend the premises to 98,000 sq. ft in the future. 2011 was a particularly successful year for the company, which saw Needlers secure a 40% growth in the business, several major client wins and an increase of £3.6m in our annual turnover. Our turnover in 2014 was £21.5m.

The move to the new premises also signalled a start to the implementation of a new quality management system based upon the principles of the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 6, which came into place in January 2012. Since then, our food industry standard warehouse has been working towards full BRC accreditation, and we achieved this in December 2014.

It’s important for our customers to know that our technical knowledge is the best that it can be, so as part of a new quality management system, our new premises have been built, and operate to meet current food safety standards and legislation. We offer customers a range of value-added services that help support their key objectives of compliance and supply chain traceability.

Products are also risk assessed and evaluated by the same auditing system used throughout the food manufacturing industry and we can show full traceability testing with our Far East suppliers.

Needlers is a member of The Nationwide Hygiene Supplies Group and the Eurosafe Group.

Both organisations help ensure that Needlers have market leading buying power on the major brands in both PPE and Hygiene.