The Evolution of Grenville Engineering

January 29, 2015

The start of a new year brings in new challenges and opportunities for Grenville. With this in mind we are now embarking on ways to increase our brand profile and highlight the key topics within the industry.
What a great way of starting our monthly blog than celebrating the company’s 30th Anniversary year.

The title of this first blog is very apt considering how Grenville has evolved over its 30 year history so far. On reflection the story of how the company established itself in the market is quite inspirational.
Mark Barratt set up the business in 1984 with his father John Barratt a well established visionary in the area of manufacturing. John had accumulated a wealth of experience working with large companies within the defence and automotive sector. He had an optimistic attitude and great work ethic striving to be an early adopter of the latest technology in fabrication machinery.
Some would say that the 80’s was a difficult era for businesses to survive let alone think of entering the market. Mark took on the challenge at the height of the depression and started the business with six staff in a portakabin and a very small workshop.

Managing Director Mark Barratt during the early years

Managing Director Mark Barratt during the early years

One of the first machines that the company purchased was a manual punch and strippit.
Tragically Mark’s father passed away three months into the business being set up, creating a greater need to make the business successful to continue on his legacy.
The business was reliant on the dedication of the workforce with many staff multi tasking from office administration to the shop floor.
John Bettaney was employed as the inspector due to his extensive engineering experience. John’s motto of “A good inspector knows how the parts fit, whereas a bad one can bankrupt a company” remained with the company.
The company very quickly began working with a number of customers in the Earthmoving and Automotive sector producing large volume batches. The business built close relationships with its customers over the years which has been an integral value of the company.

Discussing drawings in the old workshop

Discussing drawings in the old workshop

In the early 90’s Grenville invested in a 7.5 tonne lorry to transport large batches across the UK. Due to the companies rising turnover the next step was to gain quality accreditation. After a rigorous 12 month process the company achieved the Lloyds standard of BS5750 moving over to ISO9001:2008 in later years.
Grenville instilled a set of values into its workforce of self belief, integrity and passion which was the driving force behind the company. Over the next decade the company doubled its workforce and invested in the latest machinery. They were one of the first fabrication companies in Stoke-on-Trent to invest in a Plasma cutting machine with a high definition head.
The introduction of this machine opened new opportunities and in turn helped to increase turnover.
Following a number of large projects the company invested in more machines such as press brakes and a laser machine 12 years ago.
In recent years Grenville took the decision of implementing a new IT infrastructure through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme with Staffordshire University enabling them to be more efficient in production processes.


After the successful project with the University Grenville recognised the need to boost the companies profile and invest in a Marketing Manager to conduct a new marketing plan.
Since then the company has been recognised by EEF for business growth and exhibited at its first exhibition last year. These signs are testament to the progressive thinking and determination to be one of the leading sheet metal fabricators in the region.


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