Catherine McKinnell MP has recently received a guided tour of Lumley Opticals, a local family-owned business that has been at the forefront of prescription lens production for four decades.
The Newcastle North MP was invited to visit Lumley Opticals’ lab – based on the Westerhope Industrial Estate – by Managing Director, Harry Lumley.
Harry originally established the company on the site of what is now The Hancock pub in Newcastle city centre, before moving to Hoults Yard in Ouseburn. Lumley Opticals went on to settle in Westerhope some ten years ago, where the firm currently employs 17 skilled members of staff, producing 1,500 prescription lenses a week.
Lumley Opticals – which this year celebrates its fortieth year in business – has invested substantially in new equipment in recent years, enabling the company to continue producing lenses of all indices and the most complex prescriptions. Using new freeform technologies, a lens design computing system, soft tool polishing, a new dry cutter and barcoded tracking system, the company is able to quickly supply high quality lenses to many independent Tyneside optometrists, as well as specialist lenses for local hospitals – with several customers having bought from the firm for almost 30 years.
‘As someone who wears glasses, it was fascinating to see at firsthand the many different, highly-skilled processes involved in producing a lens, and to hear about how Lumley Opticals are using new technology to keep developing the successful business Harry and his team have built up over the last forty years. Their customers understandably appreciate the precision and bespoke product that they manufacture.’
Harry Lumley, Managing Director of Lumley Opticals, said:
‘It was great to welcome Catherine to our lab, as she showed a real interest in our work, the employment we provide and the investment we’ve made.’