Agent celebrates 60 years with double sales

THE estate agent appointed to sell the world's best B&B has had its most successful year in almost a decade after doubling the number of large properties it sells.

Ernest Wilson, the estate agent appointed to sell Millgate in Masham, which was voted the best B&B on the planet, is celebrating 60 years. Pictures: tony Johnson

Leeds-based Ernest Wilson, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, said it has sold an average of one commercial property worth over £500,000 a week this year as banks start lending to small business owners again. The figure is double the number it was selling following the financial crisis.

Ernest Wilson specialises in selling retail and leisure properties in Yorkshire, the Midlands and North East.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sales manager Michael Peel said: “This year has been our best since 2007 in terms of sales increasing. Banks are starting to lend more and that is helping with the sale of larger businesses.”

The firm’s biggest sale so far this year has been an investment property, comprising homes and shops, for £1.3m in Cleckheaton.

In September, the firm, which employs 25 staff, was appointed to sell Millgate in Masham, North Yorkshire, voted No. 1 guest house on the planet in TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice awards in 2015.

Ernest Wilson was founded in 1956 in Bradford.

Robert Williamson, who still works in the business as a consultant, bought the firm in 1974 and was responsible for modernising the company. He appointed his son, Paul, in 1985 to computerise the firm. Paul became managing director in 1995. The firm moved to Leeds in 2002.

Paul Williamson attributes the firm’s success to its business valuers, who have a combined 122 years of experience, as well as its sales and administration staff.

He said: “The business transfer market has changed substantially during my own 30 years and is unrecognisable from our beginnings some 60 years ago. We have always been a forward thinking business and look to embrace change and find opportunities for our clients.”