Expansion vision for East Harling firm

T and P Fire, based at Roudham, have bucked the trend during the recession to expand their business to London and take on more staff.
Operation Support Paul Young T and P Fire, based at Roudham, have bucked the trend during the recession to expand their business to London and take on more staff. Operation Support Paul Young

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
8:00 AM

A family firm launched in Norfolk in 1991 with eight staff has its sights firmly set on becoming a national concern.

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Specialist fire alarm installation and service company T&P Fire, based on the Roudham Industrial Estate, in East Harling, now employs 52 people and has recently expanded its operations by investing £450,000 in a new London service centre at Barnet.

Managing director Chris James, who took over the reins from company founder and chairman Terry Young in 2006, said: “We started in London two years ago in a rented office, quickly needed a second room and earlier this year bought a whole building.

“Following the London model, we have taken on an engineer in Birmingham and will be opening a service centre there in the next two or three years.

“We will then look to open an office further north, possibly in Leeds. The only way to win bigger contracts, like the banks, is to have a national presence.”

While they had found clients had less money to spend during the economic downturn the company had continued to thrive by seeking out new markets. In London they had won some notable contracts with NHS hospital and local authorities.

“The key to our success has been our business ethos. Some of our clients in London were not used to the level of service we give,” he said.

The company’s turnover has grown to £3.2m, but he said it still had the feel of a family firm.

“Terry’s son Paul and daughter Charly both work for the company and we have many long-serving staff members. All our accounts team have been here at least 10 years,” he said.

Mr James said they were keen to take on apprentices, as they had in the past, but there was an issue finding local colleges offering the right tailored courses.

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