Company unveils new look showroom to mark 70th year

Mayor Norma Redfearn with staff from Godfrey Syrett at the opening of its showroom to mark its 70th anniversary.
Mayor Norma Redfearn with staff from Godfrey Syrett at the opening of its showroom to mark its 70th anniversary.

A major manufacturer has marked 70 years in business by opening a newly refurbished showroom.

Killingworth-based Godfrey Syrett, which has two further sites in Durham, has a long history of making furniture.

Founded by Ken Godfrey and Harry Syrett in 1947, the pair set the business up in a former print works factory in Killingworth, which was known as Eagle Works.

The firm occupies the same manufacturing space, however it has expanded from the original 10,000sq ft to a 64,000sq ft facility, and also has a neighbouring head office and showroom.

Turnover has reached £27m with more than 230 staff employed.

To mark the anniversary Mayor Norma Redfearn officially opened its refurbished showroom in Killingworth.

She 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.”

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.

“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.”

Godfrey Syrett designs and makes the majority of its furniture in the North East.

One of its very first partnerships was with the newly formed NHS, which it supplied with robust and durable tables and chairs in 1947. The partnership still continues, alongside a large and varied client base across the education, healthcare, commercial and hospitality sectors.

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.

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 ten 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.