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Tuesday, November 7, 2017
The ductwork manufacturer and installation contractor E Poppleton & Son has been acquired by its managing director Tim Hopkinson and sales director Nigel Edwards-Hughes.
Mr Hopkinson, who is also President of the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), and Mr Edwards-Hughes, who has been with Poppleton for more than 42 years, will now run the business as joint owners/directors.
They said it would be “business as usual” for the 93-year-old Colwyn Bay business, but with some “exciting plans for future growth”, particularly in high tech sectors such as the pharmaceutical, life science and nuclear industries.
The two directors said that the company’s “reputation for quality and project delivery” gave them a sound platform on which to grow the business, and they would be looking to add to the current 50-strong workforce.
Mr Hopkinson, who took over as managing director earlier this year, paid tribute to his fellow director, who he said had made it possible for him to realise his ambition to own the company.
“This has come at a busy time for me during my year as BESA President and, therefore, would not have been possible without Nigel’s dedication,” he said. “It is great having his support, particularly as he is also active in the Association and so understands the benefits our membership brings to the business.”
E Poppleton was founded in 1926 when Edward Poppleton and his family moved to Wales from Yorkshire. It has been a member of BESA for almost 60 years and Mr Hopkinson is the third President from the company following in the footsteps of Gareth Vaughan, who was President of what was then the HVCA in 2008/9, and also the founder’s grandson Edgar Poppleton, who served in 1988/89.
Mr Edwards-Hughes said Poppleton was entering a “very exciting period” as a result of Mr Hopkinson joining the company. “Tim will provide new energy and direction as well as additional depth of knowledge and experience. I am really excited for the future,” he said.
“The strong brand of Poppleton is important to me and can be built on, and I am looking forward to working with Tim to grow the business.”
However, both owners stressed that the company would retain its family ethos.
“Nigel and I both have extensive experience of the ductwork and ventilation hygiene sectors and Poppleton has a fantastic range of products and well established client relationships. We are both in this for the long-term,” said Mr Hopkinson
The company will also look to extend its training and apprenticeship programme, which the new owners described as its “lifeblood”.
This mirrors Mr Hopkinson’s focus as BESA President to “drive more talent into our industry” via the new Trailblazer apprenticeship framework and a range of profile raising initiatives aimed at young people.
“Attracting more people from increasingly diverse backgrounds is the biggest challenge facing our sector,” he said. “Poppleton has always had a reputation for training, but increasing investment in this area will be essential for us and all building engineering services firms if we are going to tackle our skills gaps and equip ourselves for the future.”
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