Three long serving members of staff based at our Bison Precast facility in Hoveringham have spoken of how the company has changed in the decades since they started, with it recently becoming the largest concrete flooring manufacturer in the UK.
Steve Hardcastle, National Sales Manager, Jo Wilkinson, Senior Estimator, and Paul Jowett, Technical Team Leader, have between them worked for over a century for Bison Precast, specialising in flooring solutions for homebuilders and other construction firms.
Paul, from Arnold, is one of the longest serving members of staff in the company, with 44 years’ loyal service. He recalls; “When I started here, straight after leaving school, I began as a Projects Draughtsman, mainly working on agricultural buildings.
“A lot has changed here since the 1970s, in particular how we work – we’re mainly on computers now – but also the type of projects in which we specialise. We have a strong focus on the residential market, with a lot of success with major names such as Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Homes, and our recent expansion will mean we can diversify further.”
Jo, from Papplewick, has worked at the Hoveringham plant for 30 years in various departments, giving her a broad knowledge of different aspects of the business. She said, “I started as an Office Junior in 1988, worked my way up to Draughtsman, then a complete change, working on reception and then as a PA before moving to Estimating where I have worked for the last 10 years.”
“We’re lead players among residential developers with products like Jetfloor and Hollowcore, but recently we have considerably expanded our concrete manufacturing capacity, meaning we should be able to provide a greater volume of concrete precast units, and at a faster speed, making us one of the very biggest players in the UK concrete industry.”
Steve, from Mansfield, passed up the opportunity to join the Royal Engineers at the age of 19 to start working for the company in 1986. He said, “This place has seen some huge changes – when I began here it was a relatively small business but now we’re looking at taking on much more big projects like stadia, hospitals, prisons and airports.
“There’s a lot of people here like myself, Jo and Paul, who have been here for decades, and we have a vast amount of working knowledge as a result. Through our recent expansion, we’ve taken on nearly 200 additional colleagues with similar experience in the field of precast concrete, and we’re integrating well because of our shared passion for this industry.”
Stephen Harrison, Chief Executive of Forterra, said, “The combined manufacturing knowledge, skills and resources of Bison Precast and Forterra reinforces our status as a leading precast manufacturer in the UK. The teams at our three Bison Precast facilities in the Midlands are the best in the country, and can create bespoke solutions for any build project.”