Management buyout of Barnard Castle fabrication firm S&A
IN the 40 years since it was established S&A has become synonymous with farm buildings across Teesdale – and this week the fabrication side of the company has been sold in a management buyout.
S&A is based on Harmire Industrial Estate in Barnard Castle but also has a branch at Crook. It was established in 1978 by Geoff Simpson and John Allinson. In 2016 the company was split to form S&A Builders Merchants Ltd and S&A Fabrications Ltd.
This week sales director Simon Pelly and senior estimator Jonathan Kirk bought the fabrications company, which produces the popular Roundhouse livestock building.
The company’s founders will stay on as mentors and advisors on a part-time basis.
Mr Pelly, who has been with the company for ten years, said: “Both Jonathan and I have gone into this buyout with our eyes open, fully aware of the challenges we will face with local competition, uncertainty over Brexit and also the retirement of Geoff and John, although we aren’t losing Geoff and John we just won’t see them every day.
“Geoff and John are synonymous with the S&A brand; and we are really pleased that they will continue to work with us on a consultancy basis. Jonathan and I will take over the daily running of the business and future growth plans knowing they are there to offer advice and support when required.”
Mr Simpson said: “In the last 40 years the ways in which steel framed buildings are made hasn’t changed much, but the invention of The Roundhouse, has certainly changed the way in which we now think about farm buildings and I hope Simon and Jonathan will take both S&A and The Roundhouse businesses and develop strong community, and staff-focused entities based in Teesdale.”
“There is no doubt Simon and Jonathan have big plans for their new venture, and were a key part of the decision making process to buy an automated beam drilling line and an automated punch and shear line earlier this year.
“A planning application has already been submitted for a new building to house these machines and it gives the business the opportunity to continue to improve the company’s competitive edge and to help attract new staff who can see S&A as a forward-thinking company who are prepared to invest in new technology. “
Mr Kirk, who has been with the company for eight years, said: “Our intention is to drive efficiency and if we can save cost we can pass these savings on to our clients. The new machines are an exciting leap forward for us and we hope it is the start of our investment in technology”.
Mr Allinson said: “Geoff and I are thrilled that Simon and Jonathan have been able to fund this purchase and will continue with the S&A and Roundhouse brand. We wish them every success and will always be here to offer help and support when required.”
In 2017 S&A Builders Merchants Ltd was sold to Glynis Catterson, the then finance director, who had been with the company for 16 years.