Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bought-Out Firm Exceeds Turnover Expectations

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bought-Out Firm Exceeds Turnover Expectations

Article excerpt

Byline: John Hill

WHEN Cramlington firm Insulation Industries went into administration early last year, two employees decided to try running the factory themselves.

The new company, Specialist Panels, is now reporting better-than-expected turnover of pounds 1.1m in its first year of trading.

Former Insulation Industries commercial manager Rob Parkin set up the company with co-worker Brian Camp and fellow partner Peter Moody following a management buy-out from the receivers. Specialist Panels provides Isowall prefabricated wall panel systems for fireproofing and clean and cold rooms.

Mr Parkin said: "My colleagues and I came into work one Friday in February, and the owner appeared from nowhere and said he was putting the company into administration. We looked at each other and said: 'Oh'.

"I'd worked in the business for about five years and Brian had been there for about eight. We'd worked together for another company before that. I'd worked there for 15 years and he'd worked there for about 17.

"The business was in quite a specialised niche market, and we didn't know what else to do. We did a lot of soul searching and we decided to take the bull by the horns and set up the company. "We went to the banks, One North East and Business Link. We set up the business plan and talked to an accountant."

The trio personally contacted One North East director of business and industry Ian Williams, who helped them secure a large chunk of the money they were hoping for to start up their company. Mr Parkin said: "You don't expect someone who deals with blue chip companies to come to our cottage industry. "I think Ian understood us. He said that what we were doing was the right thing, selling on quality and service."

Specialist Panels UK registered with Companies House in March and opened at the same factory on the Bolam Business Park on May 1. …

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