Business celebrating 40 years opens new warehouse and distribution facility in Kempston

Jack Pennington Ltd, new business in College Street, Kempston.
Jack Pennington Ltd, new business in College Street, Kempston.

A Yorkshire business celebrating its 40th anniversary has chosen Bedford as the centre of its expanding operations in the region creating new jobs in the town.

Jack Pennington Ltd, suppliers of equipment and fastenings to the construction, services, retail and leisure sectors, has bought and refurbished a new warehouse and distribution facility in College Street, Kempston, which has now opened for business.

The business distributes installation products to mechanical and electrical contractors, heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractors and building service industries for projects such as stadiums, hospitals, educational facilities and factories.

The firm employs more than 50 staff at its headquarters in Shipley, West Yorkshire and has an annual turnover of nearly £10 million. Three staff have been taken on locally to run the new Bedford facility with a further expansion of the workforce planned.

John Skelton, warehouse supervisor at Kempston said. “I’m very proud to be part of this exciting venture and working with a company which has such strong values. We have a great deal of hard work ahead of us but our team here will be doing everything to ensure its success.”

MD Chris Simpson said: “In all the years we’ve been trading we’ve found that all our customers and suppliers value our straight-forward approach as well as our family values of honesty, integrity,value and service. We intend to build on that.

“We knew Bedford was the ideal town for our expansion because of its excellent location and good connections. We started looking for suitable premises in the area last year and eventually bought the building from furniture-makers Peter Guild after they decided to move to a larger facility. We’ve extensively re-modelled and refurbished the building, removing a mezzanine floor to create larger storage space.”

Jack Pennington Ltd has always prized its family approach to business and believes this has helped it survive three recessions and numerous downturns. It has grown more than 25-fold since it was set up 40 years ago this month. In all, nine family members have worked for the company since its inception and seven remain on its payroll.

The venture began as a father and son business in July 1974. At the age of 55 veteran salesman Jack Pennington decided to go it alone with his son Keith supplying the UK’s old heavy industries of coal mining and steel-making. The pair rented a floor of Prospect Mills in Wilsden near Bingley. In 1982 the firm moved to its current premises in Hird Street in Shipley.

Mr Simpson added: “It seems that in an increasingly competitive and complex world the no-nonsense way we do business is still appreciated and we intend to continue to build on this.”