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CP Cases to bring manufacturing to Frankford

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CP Cases, the maker of durable travel cases for expensive equipment across a range of industries, is moving its U.S. operations to Frankford. | PHOTO COURTESY OF CP CASES

FRANKFORD – CP Cases, a manufacturer of protective cases for a variety of uses, including equipment for some of the world’s most iconic bands, is bringing its American production to Delaware.

Founded more than 50 years ago by Peter Ross and Chris Sherwin, the company originally catered to some of the biggest British rock bands, like The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Pink Floyd and Elton John, designing cases that could protect instruments and equipment from the rugged travel of international tours.

Since its roots in ‘60s British Invasion, the company has branched out into several other industries to provide durable cases, racks and housing ranging from military to medical, broadcasting to energy, serving clients like NBC, CBS, Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, and Cisco Systems.

In 2013, it crossed the Atlantic to start a U.S. division in Bishopsville, Md., on the Eastern Shore, but a growing business now has it looking to relocate. After considering sites in Maryland and even South Carolina, Sussex County Economic Development Director Bill Pfaff connected with the company and helped it settle on space at the Frankford Business Park. He also introduced the company to the state’s public-private economic development organization, Delaware Prosperity Partnership, which helped it apply for Strategic Fund support.

CP Cases will invest $790,000 to fit-out 25,000 square feet of leased space, relocate nine employees from Maryland and create 16 new jobs at the site.

To support its growth, the state’s job investment board, the Council on Development Finance, unanimously signed off Monday on a more than $161,000 job performance grant to create the jobs and a $28,500 capital expenditure grant to support fit-out of its new facility.

“Delaware provides a great environment for small businesses, and we are glad that CP Cases chose to relocate their manufacturing facility to Frankford,” Gov. John Carney said in a statement following the approval. “This investment shows that Delaware remains a leader in innovative manufacturing techniques. We are excited for CP Cases’ expansion, bringing new jobs to Sussex County.”

Peter Gill, general manager for CP Cases U.S., talks with the Council on Development Finance on Monday. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

Peter Gill, general manager of CP Cases US, said that the company has only 8,000 square feet in Maryland right now where it mainly assembles parts shipped from its U.K. manufacturing plant. By moving to the larger space in Frankford, CP Cases will look to begin manufacturing stateside as well.

With a five-year lease and an additional five-year option, Gill said that the company expects to be in Delaware for at least a decade. Frankford and local developer Martin Property Development can thank that commitment to its foresight in developing infrastructure to the business park, aided in part by the state’s Site Readiness Fund which supported the installation of a natural gas service line.

“In the northern part of Worcester County, Maryland, natural gas service is difficult to come by,” Gill said, noting that the fuel is integral to a plastic molding machine in their manufacturing process. “It was absolutely necessary for us to have that service to even expand at all.”

Gill explained that while Ross’s connection to rockstars like The Who guitarist Pete Townshend grab headlines, the company’s largest customers today are defense and medical-related clients. Among the largest is Baxter, a dialysis equipment company, which had a need for cases to help patients transport dialysis machines home.

“It’s very important equipment, so we need a high-end case around it, not just your typical blow-molded plastic case,” he noted. 

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