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Company started in a shed - and celebrates 25 years by opening the floodgates to new markets

Marsden firm making flood detection and protection systems has ambitious plans for the future

Managing director Julie Greenwood and Technical Director Marshall Brook.

A company launched from a garden shed is manufacturing systems to protect some of the grandest buildings in the land.

Marsden-based leak detection and environmental protection systems provider Andel Ltd is celebrating 25 years in business – by increasing its workforce and investing in new product development.

Andel Ltd was launched in 1992 by the late Ian Pogson, who developed his first leak detection working in his garden shed.

 

In the early days, he employed just a handful of staff to support the development and manufacturing of his Floodline system.

However, since 2001, the company – which had its first proper premises in Slaithwaite and now operates from 15,000sq ft premises in Marsden – has increased turnover 10-fold and employs more than 50 people.

It has recruited about 10 people this year alone in a variety of areas of the business, including a number of apprentices. Turnover is set to exceed £4m by the end of the year and is targeted for £9m in the next four years.

Production of some of the circuit boards at the Marsden company.

 

Highlights of the past 25 years include winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation and becoming one of the success stories of the 2012 London Olympics – installing and commissioning several leak detection systems in the main stadium, the white water canoe course and the Olympic village.

Last year, Andel installed its Floodline system in several prestigious London buildings, including The Shard, the Houses of Parliament, the O2, the “Walkie Talkie” building and Canary Wharf. The company also won a £75,000 contract to install water leak detection systems on each floor of Tower 1 and Tower 2 in Marina Bay Financial Centre in Singapore.

Julie Greenwood was Ian’s first employee – she started as his assistant before becoming operations director and is now managing director.

 

She said a major focus for the firm was to expand its exports. It has distributors in countries including Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong and is breaking into the US market.

Andel began by developing leak detection systems to prevent flooding, but has expanded to design, manufacture and supply systems covering water, gas and oil.

The firm has also developed a flood defence product, Rebund, a system of barriers resembling garden fencing to protect property in the event of floods. It also provides emission interceptors – tanks set into the ground to capture waste oil and supplies them to sites including bus depots and car dealerships.

 

It also provides a consultancy service to steer clients through the regulatory jungle around the storage of oil on premises.

Julie said: “Since Ian died three years ago we had a year of stabilising the company. But in the past two years sales have increased dramatically.

“That has given us the ability to reinvest in the company, mainly on research and development because without R&D and bringing new products online the company will stagnate.

“We have also invested in systems and procedures to provide a good basis for the company to grow.”

Andel Managing director, Julie Greenwood.

 

Julie said: “Ian was an ideas man who loved to think of the next step forward. He was very good at starting projects and getting the right people to take them on.

“We have a good team with a “can do, will do’ mentality. Without having a good team of people prepared to work hard the company can’t go anywhere. It’s also about having good relationships with the financial institutions and suppliers. We try very hard to use suppliers within Yorkshire and support the local economy.”

And she added: “It is important we carry on Ian’s legacy. Now is the time to grow the business.”

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