Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Team in Control of Their Destiny

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Team in Control of Their Destiny

Article excerpt

Byline: Alan Plews

Name of company: HC Controls

Turnover: pounds 1.3m

No of employees: 20

Owners: Tony Bartle, Ian Bullivant, Helen Crawford, Andy Routledge

Start-up date: Started 1986. Management buy-out 2001.


A Teesside company is on course for its best year since a management buy-out nearly three years ago.

The year began with a strong order book for HC Construction and sales director Ian Bullivant is looking to a 10pc growth in both its pounds 1.3m turnover and staff numbers

The feather in the cap for the company so far this year is the recent winning of a large contract from Stockton-based VAI UK to supply 415volt motor control centres for Corus's No 3 slab caster plant at Port Talbot.

HC Construction beat off stiff competition from across the UK to land the contract with VAI, for whom it is the third large contract with Corus this year.

The biggest metallurgical company in the country, VAI UK offers complete technological solutions to today's global steel industry and employs around 120 staff at its Stockton division.

HC Construction began life on Teesside as HB Construction, part of the NG Bailey electrical contracting group.

But in 1986 Bailey decided to close its control panel/ switchboard division.

This left the way open for Ray Crawford, Peter Larmouth and Steve Christie - part of the management team - to form their own company to design and manufacture motor control centres, distribution switchboards and specialist control panels.

HC Construction was born at Skippers Lane, Middlesbrough, growing from a basic staff to 20 as orders grew.

"I remember the company grew steadily before being able to remain constant," says sales director Ian Bullivant, who left Bailey for two years before being head-hunted by the new regime.

"The peak year was 1999 when we did a lot of work on Corus sites for a salvage company.

"We had to build electrical controls for them to be able to run their large industrial equipment, such as conveyors and crushers. …

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