A County Durham-based aluminium welding and fabrication company is fulfilling the vision of its managing director, who died last July, by redeveloping its offices as it moves towards greater expansion.
Work has begun on more than doubling the size of Hiatco’s facilities in Annfield Plain, County Durham, making room for a new canteen and changing area for its 20-strong workforce.
The company lost its managing director Tony Sun after a long illness, but the business is in safe hands with long-term factory manager Alan Davison being promoted to general manager and taking care of day-to-day operational activities while Sun’s son Paul takes over at a strategic level.
Davison said: “I knew Tony for 30 years; he’s been a huge influence. That’s rubbed off on me and I intend to keep running the factory along the same lines.
“Redeveloping the site was something Tony had talked about for a number of years, but sadly he never got to see the plans put into place.”
When completed in around 12 weeks’ time, the new office space will measure roughly five metres by 22 metres.
“It gives us a more prominent appearance, supports expansion, and provides even better facilities for everybody,” Davison added.
Established around 33 years ago, Hiatco’s core offering involves manufacturing, repairing and certifying temporary access equipment for the overhead power line industry, including working platforms, spacer chairs that carry operators, replacement parts, jump chairs, armour rod baskets and pole platforms, all made from aluminium.
Starting with just five employees, the company soon outgrew its original premises and moved to Annfield Plain in 1993.
Since then, it has grown steadily, with its turnover over the past few years averaging around £1.3m.
Today, it supplies clients all over the UK, Europe and Australia, as well as working in the oil, gas, marine and aviation sectors.
In March, Hiatco employed Blue Box Management Consultants Ltd to deliver a strategic business plan covering the next few years and the company is now working on phase two.
Paul Sun, who has his own event management company, Pink Buddha, in London, said “My father has built a wonderful team over the last 10 years and with Alan in charge of business operations it leaves me free to concentrate on the company’s finances and strategy.
“Hiatco is here to stay; with a young and dynamic workforce, it is my intention to grow the business over the coming years.”