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Richard Bell

Lancashire toymaker slashes regulation burden with county council deal

A North West toy-making company has signed a new agreement with Lancashire County Council Trading Standards that will see the authority providing support and advice on product safety.

Lancashire firm HTI Group’s deal with the authority marks the firm time that Lancashire Trading Standards has signed a Primary Authority agreement, which is a legally recognised partnership struck between a business and a local council for support with specific areas of law.

The deal will HTI Group take on the council as its sole advisor for the legalities of product safety.

Cllr Azhar Ali, a cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Lancashire County Council, said: “This is a first for Lancashire Trading Standards and supports the county council’s wider aims to help businesses and boost the local economy.

“The agreement will reduce the burden of regulation on a major Lancashire firm, and save time and money for other regulators in the vital work of ensuring quality and safety standards are being met.”

He added: “This agreement with HTI Group will ensure a consistency of regulation at a national level whilst allowing sufficient flexibility to address local circumstances.

“It will help the company in its compliance with Trading Standards laws and have a positive impact on its future business growth.”

Based in Fleetwood, HTI Group is the UK’s biggest privately owned designer and manufacturer of children’s toys. The firm’s global partners include brands such as Lego, Hello Kitty, Barbie and Hot Wheels.

David Johnson, the firm’s quality assurance manager for the EU, said: “The achievement of this agreement with Lancashire Trading Standards follows an 18-month process during which HTI has undergone a number of audits by the Lancashire Trading Standards Authority, entailing a comprehensive assessment of the company’s technical files and competences.

“Our partnership will have a massive impact on efficiencies for HTI. The business has always worked closely with Trading Standards and formalising this with a Primary Authority agreement will foster an even closer relationship with the authority which will further develop best practice in the business.”

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