Forkers celebrates 45th anniversary with a new headquarters in West Bromwich
Family-run civil and ground engineering contractors Forkers has celebrated 45 years in business with the opening of its new head office building in West Bromwich.
There are now 60 people working in Golds Green House at the junction of Shaw Street and Harvills Hawthorn.
Managing director Peter Watson said it represented a £1.5 million investment for the business which had run out of space in the original building.
"As we have grown we had exceeded the capacity of the building and had to have some offices above our workshops and in mobile buildings," he explained.
The extension, which was built on to the original building, was completed in July and has given the firm 13,000 sq ft of space over two floors and has also seen improvements to the car park and refurbishment of the old offices
Forkers, which was started in 1972 by Paddy Forker after several years working as a specialist tunnelling subcontractor, is now the largest mine working stabilisation contractor in the UK
"To be still going strong after 45 years is a great testament to the strength of the business, which is still very much a family-owned business," said Mr Watson.
The company was originally formed in Mere Green, Sutton Coldfield. and made the move to its present home in 1988.
Initially it was primarily a West Midlands business but it has expanded geographically over the tears and now works nationwide.
Forkers, which also has a small office in Grangemouth in Scotland, now employs 175 in total with most of those working out on sites all over the country.
A range of clients, former and retired colleagues were invited to West Bromwich on November 9 for the 45th anniversary open afternoon and official opening of the head office. The guests also included the Mayor of Sandwell, Councillor Ahmadul Haque.
"It was great to see so many people who have supported us through the years," said Mr Watson.
Forkers, has seen turnover grow from £25m to £30m this year and Mr Watson said the hope was to grows that even further to £35m in 2018.
It has extended its operation into a wider range of market sectors over the years and continues to look to widen its client base.
"We now do a range of work for developers and other main contractors," explained Mr Watson.
The company is now doing quite a bit of public sector work including with the regulated utilities, water industry and Network Rail.
In the Black Country it has also won local authority work with Dudley and Wolverhampton councils.
"The key to our success really is that we are a family company that values and looks after its staff.
"A lot of our people have been with us for many years. We always aim to invest in and train our staff and our policy is to promote from within.
"We also manage the business very carefully and don't take huge risks," added Mr Watson.