FLOODING has enabled one North Shields company to not only keep its head above water but almost treble its turnover in less than three years.
Northern Resin Flooring was launched by Carl Birkenshaw in 2011 after he sold back his share of home improvement company Paramount Windows & Conservatories.
The company, which specialises in commercial, industrial, and domestic resin floor installations, turned over £90,000 last year and is on target to reach £250,000 this year. Following severe flooding in the North East, the firm has secured a raft of work with local authorities to install its resin paving which soaks up water and prevents run-off which leads to flooding.
Birkenshaw said: “Once over, everybody had front gardens where the water could be soaked up but now they have blocked paving and the water just runs off and causes damage.
The North East has the highest ratio of people in the UK with concrete driveways and this will prevent real problems during heavy rainfall.
“Our resin bound paving provides a water-permeable surface which has open voids across the surface, allowing surface water to filter through the structure, making it highly suitable for driveways, paths, tree pits and areas prone to standing water.
“It’s also environmentally friendly and therefore a lot of councils are looking towards this resin paving as a favoured option over concrete.
“We’ve done work for North Tyneside Council, pub chain Wetherspoons as well as five or six driveways in the domestic marketplace.
“With the work we have currently in place, we’re looking to double this year’s turnover to £500,000 by the end of next year.”
The firm, which designs manufactures and installs its product, has three full-time members of staff and has taken on two apprentices this year.
As well as exterior flooring, the company can create resin graphic floor for inside the home and recently completed a one-off floor decorated with record sleeve graphics in London.
“The company itself has been doing well in a difficult marketplace,” said Birkenshaw. “Even though the banks have not supported us in our start-up efforts, we have fought through it and grown within our own means.
“All we have is a £5,000 bank overdraft and everything else has been self-funded.”
Last year, the firm installed 660m2 of resin bound paving for Hartlepool County Council, and took its product overseas when it laid over 10,000m2 of slip resistant flooring and coving for E-ON based in Rotterdam. Going forward, the company would like to push more towards the domestic market.