THE sky’s the limit for a booming South Tyneside builder who has created a £1m operation in just three years – after swapping legal briefs for bricks and mortar.
Hebburn-born Grant Findley has transformed Findley Roofing & Building into one of the most innovative operations in the North East since taking over the company from his father, Brian Findley, in 2008.
From a three-man operation, the company now employs 15 staff and 12 sub-contractors and is on target for a turnover of £1.65m by 2012.
By offering customers personal finance deals and diversifying into everything from solar panels to new apartments, it has won clients across the region.
But Mr Findley, 29, was on target for a very different career as a barrister before taking over the family business.
The former Hebburn Comprehensive pupil gained a law degree at Sunderland University and a barrister’s diploma at the University of Northumbria, before his radical career change.
He said: “Basically, I couldn’t find a training contract as a barrister in London and, faced with paying off student loans and all the rest, decided to take over the reins of the family business, as my dad was retiring.”
The decision proved a commercial winner, and Mr Findley quickly expanded from running the business from his Hebburn home to moving into premises at Armstrong Industrial Estate in Washington where he now employs previously jobless tradesmen from across South Tyneside, Sunderland, Walker, Blyth and elsewhere.
The company has also taken on an apprentice and plans to recruit more.
Due to its expansion, Findley Roofing & Building is soon to expand into bigger premises next door.
Mr Findley added: “Being innovative and widening our business base is the reason for our expansion.
“But I think obtaining our consumer credit licence last August was crucial to the development of the business.
“We have an arrangement with Barclay’s Bank and Shermin Finance, and offer personal finance deals to our customers, which I believe makes us unique in the local building trade.”
The company has also moved into housing development, including creating new apartments in South Eldon Street, South Shields.
Niall Anderson, Grant’s former headteacher at Hebburn Comprehensive School, said: “It is with great delight and admiration that we learn of Grant’s success in yet another field.
“He is a tremendous success story for the town and for the school.
“As a student of this school, he was intelligent, motivated and – even at that early stage – enterprising.
“He has every reason to feel proud of his achievements, and we wish him continued success in the future.”
n Got a good business story? Tell Terry Kelly on 428 3536.