Cumbrian kitchen house finds a buyer

Cumbrian distributor Catering Partnership has been acquired by Lancashire ventilation service firm Northern Shire FM in a move that has delighted the owners of both companies.

Catering Partnership is a long-established kitchen house led by Peter Swinburne, who will continue in a consultancy role as part of the deal to ensure a smooth transition.

He is over the moon that the future of the business is secured given the firm has been selling and servicing catering equipment locally for more than 40 years.

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“I have wanted to take more of a back seat for some time, and this move allows me to retire in the knowledge that the business is in safe hands,” he said. “When you nurture your own company to a strong position in the local market, you want to be absolutely confident of its future stability. This alliance with Northern Shire gives me full confidence in this.”

Swinburne’s son, Nick, will also maintain the family ties by leading the firm’s technical team under the new owners. Catering Partnership will continue to operate from its existing offices in Kendal.

The firm lists Rational, Foster, Hobart, Blue Seal, Lincat, Pantheon, Maidaid and Instanta among the brands it supplies.

For Preston-based Northern Shire, meanwhile, the takeover expands the range of services it can offer and moves it into the business of catering equipment sales. It also gives it greater geographic coverage in the north west of England.

To date, the 25-strong business has principally specialised in kitchen extraction surveys, ductwork cleaning and ventilation testing.

The company’s managing director, Graham Heath, said that he was delighted when Swinburne approached him about taking over Catering Partnership.

“The two companies fit together brilliantly and allow us to continue providing the excellent service and products that are offered through them, while also giving us a solid base from which to develop our ventilation hygiene business,” he said.

“Being able to offer the cleaning, surveys and testing service — essential for insurance and HSE requirements — to Catering Partnership clients increases the options available from one source.”

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