OLDHAM-based James Briggs, one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of industrial and consumer chemicals, has appointed Paul Blackaby as chief executive.

Paul, aged 52, has been promoted from his previous role as chief financial officer, which he held for the last three years.

He succeeds Tim Pugh, who after three years with the business has stepped down to pursue other potential opportunities closer to his home and family.

Founded in 1830 at the height of the industrial revolution, James Briggs has built up a reputation as a service led, industrial aerosol manufacturer, specialising in the supply of paints and lubricants for retail, consumer and trade markets.

The £50 million turnover business, headquartered at Salmon Fields in Royton, has 300 workers.

Paul said: “I am thrilled and proud to be given the opportunity to lead this magnificent company in the next stage of its development.

“There is excellent potential to grow our sales in the UK and further afield in Europe and the Middle East in particular, and we will of course continue to work with our existing valued customers to continue to develop innovative new products.

“We are a fortunate to operate in a target-rich environment and have all we need to be a success; great customers, fantastic facilities, a strong management team and hugely dedicated employees.

“We are also fortunate to have the backing of Endless, an excellent private equity investor, who have been massively supportive over the last few years.

“I am really excited to lead this talented team into a new era and am optimistic for the future as we seek to continue to grow the business in existing and new markets.”

The company also manufactures from a site at Foxdenton Lane in Chadderton. It makes a total of 50 million aerosols a year.