Tyne and Wear dealer grows order book

Upnorth Foodservice Equipment has added new personnel to its operation amid a restructuring of its project teams to capitalise on the growth it is seeing.

Recent months have seen a new project administrator and design graduates come on board, while this week an additional contracts manager joined the business.

It is now looking to recruit up to three more posts for design and estimating graduates, as well as an additional project administrator.

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“We have also created two separate national accounts management and project teams to support our client’s requirements this year,” explained company director Richard Toye.

The expansion in headcount comes after the Blaydon-based outfit claims to have gained more business outside the north east by acquiring major sections of several national accounts.

Toye said relationships that the firm has with architects, builders and clients were helping to take the business nationwide.

Additionally, its ‘Quay’ division has launched a new website which is generating growth and interest, while the development of its ICARUS (TRS) thermal heat recovery system, aimed at meeting restaurants’ hot water demands, has added a new string to its bow.

Over the past year, Upnorth has gained five more major catering projects with Durham University and carried out scheme work for the likes of AKZO Nobel, AKS Lytham and Houngate Town House, as well as a host of jobs in the education sector.

Public sector work, meanwhile, has seen it complete projects as far afield as Devon, Norfolk and Yorkshire, while it is currently working with seven local authorities for the provision of additional equipment and kitchen refurbishments at more than 40 school kitchens in the north east.

“We exceeded the £3m mark [last year] and the order book for this year and next year, including pipeline work, is set to more than double that for the next two years,” revealed Toye.

He added that the changing market landscape had certainly left an impression on the firm.

“We have seen many rivals leave the market place,” he said. “The recession has taken many casualties — some were inevitable considering the margins others were operating on, but some surprise victims also arose. I feel it has made us better and stronger, and clients now understand why we need to maintain margins. We are not always the cheapest but we are still here providing the level of service they desire.”

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