A couple who took a risk on bringing an historic firm out of liquidation at the height of the recession are investing for the future, after forecasting a doubling of year-on-year turnover to around £750,000.
Hastie D Burton was bought out of liquidation in 2011 and renamed as Hastie Burton Joinery Ltd, with the three existing joiners joining new owners Adrian and Lisa Brunton.
Despite launching the business as a new venture in the middle of the economic downturn, Mr and Mrs Brunton have steered the company to success, with revenue for the first four months of the new financial year already topping total turnover for the year ended March 2014.
The pair used the original firm’s name – only dropping the ‘D’ – well aware of its strong reputation for craftsmanship.
Founded in 1903 by Hastie Duff Burton, the original firm was responsible for all manner of traditional wood craftsmanship seen in buildings and housing states across North Tyneside and further afield.
Today, from that first historic North Shields workshop, the company makes products from windows, doors, bookcases and reception desks, to grand staircases, and also carries out delicate renovation and restoration projects, including replacing listed buildings’ sash windows and replacing pews in ecclesiastical buildings.
Currently on target to double turnover to around £750,000 in the current financial year, the directors are implementing a growth strategy that will see the workforce increase by at least 50% within three years from its current headcount of nine, which includes five joiners.
The firm also plans to take on one apprentice every year in a bid to tackle the skills shortage within the bench joinery sector.
At the moment some 78% of business comes from the commercial sector, including Bellway, Brims, Northern Construction Solutions and education establishments.
However, the company plans to create a showroom, where they can showcase their bespoke products, in a bid to increase the work they currently secure from private customers.
Mrs Brunton said: “We hit the ground running and had our first order before we’d even set up our office or bank account, so that gave us the confidence that it could work, despite it being the recession. It has been a struggle at times but we’ve got to the point where we can invest.
“We’ve done it through dedication, hard work and great craftsmanship. There’s quite a lot of customers who return to us and say they can rely upon us. Adrian and the other joiners give a lot of great advice to customers, so we deliver much more than craftsmanship.”