Product design agency relocates to Liverpool 

Former Liverpool JMU student Robert Dutton founded his product design agency in the south of England in 2020 – now he is returning to the city and bringing his growing business with him. Tony McDonough reports

Robert Dutton
Robert Dutton, founder of Heavy Industry at work in Liverpool


Design entrepreneur Robert Dutton is relocating his business from the south of England to Liverpool – returning to the city where he gained his degree more than a decade ago.

Robert founded Heavy Industry in 2020, just as the COVID pandemic brought the world almost to a standstill. It is a product design and engineering consultancy that specialises in solving complex design challenges to launch new products.

Launching in the south of England, Rob spoke of the huge challenges of being an entrepreneur during the biggest crises in more than a generation. He said: “It really was a difficult time for me personally.

“After spending many years planning and getting everything in place to start the business, having to go into lock-down for the first six months of operation was really tough.”

Despite the numerous obstacles faced by the new business, over the last four years Heavy Industry has seen steady growth and now serves clients across a wide range of product sectors throughout the UK.

It combines “smart engineering” with strategic product development. The company’s focus is on “understanding customer needs, accelerating growth, and embracing environmentally conscious design”.

“Starting a new business has been an incredible journey for sure, and seeing where the company is now gives me a lot of pride, despite the many sleepless nights,” added Robert who now works alongside marketing director Dale Edwards.


Heavy Industry
Heavy Industry specialises in solving complex design challenges for new products


In 2007 Robert began studying at Liverpool John Moores University, studying design in the almost completed John Lennon Art and Design building. Now he is returning to the city to be closer to family and friends, setting up shop in the Baltic Triangle.

And he also says he wants to draw on the city’s “strong entrepreneurial spirit”. He explained: “Being back in the city where it all started really feels invigorating. Liverpool is a fantastic city.

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“It is those entrepreneurial qualities that we believe will help us better serve our clients and contribute to the region’s economic development.

“We’re looking forward to developing new partnerships with local businesses, organisations, and community leaders, continuing to create exceptional products and value for clients in the Northern part of the UK.”

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