Global success for Ashington-based female hygiene business

A North East start-up producing female hygiene products is expanding across the globe just two years after it was formed.

By David Sedgwick
Thursday, 4th November 2021, 8:00 am
Andrew Tasker, managing director of Viveca Biomed, at their site in Ashington.
Andrew Tasker, managing director of Viveca Biomed, at their site in Ashington.

Northumberland-based Viveca Biomed is expecting to export between £2million and £3m of its innovative female health product, Contrelle Activgard, into overseas markets in the coming 12 months.

The business has enjoyed support from the Department for International Trade (DIT) as it’s successfully broken into markets in Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and Germany, as well as further distribution agreements already in place.

Andrew Tasker, Managing Director, expects that exports will make up approximately 50 per cent of the company’s business this year, which is set to expand further with Viveca Biomed currently exploring opportunities in the Middle East Market.

Andrew Tasker, managing director of Viveca Biomed, at their site in Ashington.

He said: “This is a really exciting time for Viveca Biomed and the culmination of a great deal of hard work over the past two years.

“Setting up a new business has its own unique challenges, but setting up during a pandemic saw us having to overcome things we could never have anticipated when we started out.

"It has been an incredibly interesting year.

“Viveca Biomed has fantastic clinical backing.

"We have an established brand and have created a fantastic £4m manufacturing plant in Ashington, and we’re now exploring markets all over the world.”

The company manufactures the Contrelle Activgard, a unique female bladder support product, designed to reduce or stop bladder leaks caused by Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI).

A product already established in Scandinavian markets when Viveca Biomed purchased it, Andrew and his team of four have transported all of the manufacturing equipment to the UK and created a new production plant in Ashington.

The company recently accessed support from the DIT to attend the Medica trade show in Germany, the Arab Health exhibition in the Middle East and a trade mission to the US.

Andrew added: “We are shortly launching on and having really productive conversations with the NHS in the UK, but overseas markets are really buying into the product and securing that presence in the Swiss market was key for us.

"We secured a special medical partnership and relaunching into Denmark and Sweden, where the product has been extensively used and is recommended by leading women’s health clinics.

“We have an absolutely fantastic product and working with world class and leading clinicians is really helping us to establish ourselves quickly and successfully in overseas markets.

“We have plans for future development, including setting up our own subsidiary in one specific European market, and by the end of this year, we are going to be successfully exporting between £2-3m of product into at least six countries.”

Currently employing three people, Viveca Biomed will double its workforce in the coming weeks, as production at Ashington increases.

Victoria Gemmill, DIT Northern Powerhouse Regional Team, head of north east region, said: “It is fantastic to be able to play a supporting role in Viveca’s incredible success in rapidly establishing itself in a range of different countries and global regions.

"Given the wealth of knowledge and experience at the business and its fantastic products, I have no doubt it will go from strength to strength and become a genuine North East success story and real asset to our excellent business community.”