February 13, 2017 @ 9:20 by Alison Cowie
Godfrey Syrett, which has a head office and manufacturing facility in Killingworth as well as a further two sites in Durham, has a long history of making furniture in the region.
The firm was founded by two local businessmen Ken Godfrey & Harry Syrett in 1947, who set the business up in a former print works factory in Killingworth, which was known as Eagle Works.
The firm still occupies the same manufacturing space today, however it has expanded from the original 10,000sqft to a 64,000sqft facility, and also has a neighbouring head office and showroom.
Over the past 70 years Godfrey Syrett has grown to become a £27m turnover business with over 230 staff, delivering furniture throughout the UK.
One of its very first partnerships was with the newly formed NHS, which it supplied with robust and durable tables and chairs in 1947. This is a partnership which still continues today, alongside a large and varied client base across the education, healthcare, commercial and hospitality sectors.
To mark the company’s 70th anniversary Norma Redfearn, Mayoress of North Tyneside has today officially opened its refurbished showroom in Killingworth, which showcases the firm’s innovative range of furniture.
Norma Redfearn, Mayoress of North Tyneside said: “I am delighted to open Godfrey Syrett’s refurbished showroom to mark its 70th year in business. It’s great to see such a successful and thriving firm growing in North Tyneside, and making a fantastic contribution to our local economy.”
As a true British furniture manufacturer, Godfrey Syrett designs and makes the majority of its furniture in the North East.
In an average year the company sells 120,000 seating products, processes 20km of fabric and its delivery fleet travels in the region of 580,000 miles.
David Hall, group sales & marketing director said: “Reaching 70 is a huge accomplishment for Godfrey Syrett and one we are very proud of. We recognise that this milestone is in many respects due to our dedicated and hardworking staff, as well as the relationships we have built and maintained with our clients over the years.
It’s also testament to our continued investment in the company – we’re always looking to the future and aligning ourselves with industry trends and developments.
We look forward to many more years in business and achieving our next growth target of reaching a £40m turnover by 2020.”
The firm, which has won multiple awards for its commitment to sustainability and was named North Tyneside Business of the Year in December 2016, has invested almost £4m in the business over the last 10 years to improve processes and efficiencies.
Key investments include the acquisition of a £2m distribution hub in Durham, an £850,000 vehicle delivery fleet and £850,000 investment in state-of-the-art technology including fabric cutting machinery, a board cutting saw and robotic welding.