Former shop manager Aidan Forshaw has given his old workers new jobs.
Aidan ran the South Shields branch of Plumb Centre before launching his own business.
When Plumb Centre bosses pulled the plug on the South Tyneside outlet, Aidan and business partner David Langston decided to step in, not only opening a branch of their business Plumbing & Heating Supplies on the Western Approach Industrial Estate, but also taking on four of the former employees.
Aidan and David both worked for Plumb Centre before deciding to go it alone.
“I worked for Plumb Centre for 12 years and David had been there for 15 years,” said Aidan.
“We started up on our own in Gateshead in 2015 , then about 18 months later we opened in North Shields, when branch manager Steve Nolan joined us.”
I had already worked closely with the team so was aware of their extensive experience in the trade and the strong relationships they had built with the plumbers in the local area.Aidan Forshaw
There had been no plans to expand into South Tyneside until the closure of Plumb Centre created a gap in the market – and provided a ready-made workforce.
“We really had no intention of ever going into South Shields because there were enough merchants there,” said Aidan.
“But when Wolseley announced they were closing their branch of Plumb Centre in South Shields in December I felt obliged to look at opening a new branch in the town.”
Aidan managed the Shields branch from 2012 to 2014, so he was familiar with the staff: “I had already worked closely with the team so was aware of their extensive experience in the trade and the strong relationships they had built with the plumbers in the local area,” he said.
“It was such a shame. They were very good lads, very loyal to the company .
“Luckily, we were in a position to move quickly, as we were already searching for new places to expand, so it was great to open up new opportunities for four of the team before Christmas and continue to provide a service to the local trade.
“Our new branch is initially providing a trade counter to the plumbers in the area as well as practical advice on plumbing solutions to any local businesses or domestic householders.
“We are looking forward to introducing our bathroom showroom ‘Inspira Luxury Bathrooms’ to South Shields,” said Aidan.