Recognition for Grayson

Grayson Thermal Systems has been recognised in a major national competition for doubling its turnover in past four years.

The Bank of Scotland £25m Entrepreneur Challenge was designed to identify and reward the country’s most ambitious, astute and active entrepreneurs by assisting them to develop their businesses further.

At an awards ceremony for the competition’s Midlands, Mid Wales and East Anglia regional final, the judging panel praised Grayson and the other four finalists for their innovative responses to competition, and for being willing to make quick and effective decisions in their businesses.

The company, which serves the bus and coach and specialist off-highway vehicle industries and has a turnover of £16.4m, was invited to enter the competition by Bank of Scotland Corporate, and was one of 170 businesses in the region to participate. It got into the final five in the region, but was narrowly beaten to the prize, a £5m business loan, free of interest and charges for three years, by a food manufacturing company.

Grayson managing director Stuart Hateley said: ‘We are very proud of our achievement in getting so far, which shows that the judges were impressed both by the way we run Grayson and by our business plan.

‘While we were disappointed to be pipped at the post, it changes nothing. Our expansion plans clearly made an impact on the judges and the prize would have helped us to reduce the projected time scale from five years to three, but we are proceeding with them completely unchanged.

‘Key to our business plan is our continued expansion into the North American and European markets. We are well advanced in our planned acquisition of an additional brazing facility to quadruple aluminium manufacturing capacity, and we will also be building a new recycling centre.’

Grayson was set up in Birmingham in 1978 by Graham Hateley, as an engineering business supplying parts to the automotive aftermarket. Today the company serves the bus and coach and specialist off-highway vehicle industries and has three divisions, two manufacturing sites in Birmingham and distribution centres in Birmingham, Bathgate, Basingstoke, Newcastle and Oldham.