Window manufacturer celebrates 50th birthday

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A WINDOW manufacturer that started in a Barnsley garage is celebrating its 50th birthday with a party for hundreds of staff, past and present.

Sash UK, which was set up by two school friends in 1965 in a garage in Brierley, now has nearly 200 staff and a turnover topping £20m.

The company makes windows, doors, conservatories and decking at its purpose-built factory at Park Springs, Grimethorpe. These are supplied to councils, housing associations and national builders, and direct to trade.

Sash UK is one of the biggest manufacturers of its kind in the country, with more than 2,500 windows and 250 doors made each week at the 112,000 sq ft factory and shipped out by its own fleet of lorries.

For the last 18 months Sash UK has been given free business support by Enterprising Barnsley, which is run by Barnsley Council, and in that time the number of staff has grown from 140 to 185.

Turnover last year was £18m, up from £15.5m the year before. It is expected to be about £21m this year.

Current staff, along with hundreds of past workers, have been invited to a party on July 4 to mark the 50th anniversary.

Rudy Micallef, the operations director, said: “We are very much part of the local community and the history of the Barnsley area.

“We have several people here who are third generation, grandparents, parents and children, and we have some who have been here 20, 30 or more years. We make sure we look after our staff and we invest in training people.”

Sash UK started as Bean and Morrell 50 years ago when Ron Bean and Terry Morrell began making window and door frames and skirting boards in Terry’s garage in Brierley.

The company, which became known as Sash UK, gradually grew and moved to bigger premises. In 2000 it moved to the current site, where its current managing director is Terry’s son, Stephen Morrell.

Mr Micallef said the company’s success was down to investing in staff – and equipment and research.

“To Joe Public a window is still a window, but from our point of view there has been a massive development in the last 50 years.

“We have to keep innovating and investing to keep up with demands. We have one of the most hi-tech factories in the country with everything controlled by computers.”