Expansion time for family firm

Bob (left) and Steve Parks in their new workshop. Picture by FRANK REID

Bob (left) and Steve Parks in their new workshop. Picture by FRANK REID

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A family-run firm has expanded onto a second Hartlepool site in a £95,000-plus investment.

Town business Zenith, which already operates a unit in Avenue Road which provides mobility products, has now opened a second site on the Graythorpe Industrial Estate.

And it means a complete diversification into a new line of business so that Zenith can make products such as kitchen and bathroom units, as well as aids linked to the mobility market.

It is all part of a plan by father and son team Bob and Stephen Parkes to increase their range of services.

“The intention was to renovate this site and see how we could develop it,” said Bob as he proudly showed off the Graythorpe business premises.

He explained why the company had expanded beyond its mobility products.

He said: “The retail market is pretty poor and we found it difficult to get into the likes of social services unless we had manufacturing facilities. “We think we should be able to have a better niche in the market.

“We do have a small workshop in Avenue Road but it was not capable of doing a full service. We are now going to expand into the commercial market and look at shop repairs, renovations and fittings as well as the furniture we can do such as kitchen cabinets and cabinets for offices.

“We are basically revamping Avenue Road to turn it into a showroom for what we are hoping to produce.”

The change to the business has meant a need to take on more staff – and it has attracted huge interest from the public.

Bob added: “We had 61 applications for one carpenter job.”

Zenith planned to take on four to five people in its first year under the new outlook as well as looking to start an apprenticeship.