1966 to 1975
The original COBA business was founded on 12 August 1966 by the late Tony Cooke and Tom Bateman who had both previously worked for Coventry Motor & Sundries. (The name is derived from the CO of Cooke and the BA of Bateman.) That business was COBA Plastics Ltd operating from small premises on Stephen Street in Coventry, in the heart of the Midlands, manufacturing plastic extrusions and tubing, primarily for the automotive, motorcycle and caravan industries, such as Standard Triumph and Sprite Caravans in the late 1960’s.
1976 to 1985
An opportunity to manufacture a totally new product out of extruded PVC came to COBA Plastics Ltd in 1979 which has subsequently been the foundation for COBA Europe’s floor matting business today.
The plastic extrusions were used for COBA’s original safety matting product, COBAmat (then called Airomat) introduced as an alternative to wooden duck-boarding. COBA was actually one of the first companies in the UK to offer such a concept as ‘safety matting’. It soon became a familiar sight in factories, oil rigs, boats, aircraft, hotels and leisure centres. A dedicated business called COBA International Ltd was registered in 1979 to concentrate on manufacturing, marketing and distributing this product.
1986 to 1995
In 1986 Tom Bateman retired from the business. The Cooke family, who still owns the business today, took over 100% ownership of COBA. A new expanded board of directors was appointed.
1996 to 2005
Further development of a 5000 sq ft warehouse commenced at the Fleckney site followed by Phase 3 in 1994, the building of huge extension and spacious new factory which was completed in 1995. In September 1995, COBA Plastics Ltd moved its entire workforce and manufacturing operation from Kibworth to Fleckney.
There was also some excitement with the launch of the first COBA website in 1997!
2006 to 2015
Meanwhile, additional land had been acquired in Fleckney and plans for the construction of a dedicated building for COBA’s Matting Division were made.
Work commenced in 2006 on this £2 million project to create offices and a warehouse facility and completed in 2007. The Matting team moved into their spacious new home.