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News > Careers News > OP opens state-of-the art flagship store in Pocklington

OP opens state-of-the art flagship store in Pocklington

Construction management specialist and MD, Fenton Swanborough (88-92) has taken the family business to a new level of growth with the opening of Home Fit UK's flagship store in Pocklington.
29 Nov 2019
Careers News

Construction management specialist and MD, Fenton Swanborough (88-92), with his brother and father has taken the family business to a new level of growth with the opening of Home Fit UK’s flagship store in Pocklington in June 2019.

The firm which is celebrating 15 years in business this year, started out in Market Weighton and offers a one stop shop for all construction and home improvement products and services – from replacing the kitchen sink to servicing the boiler, to full kitchen and bathroom renovations, bespoke bedrooms, home offices, fireplaces and flooring. Home Fit also offers full plumbing and electrical services, through to complete new build extensions and construction services. It works in partnership with its sister company, Swanhome Developments, a house building and development business established over 40 years ago by Fenton’s father.

Fenton commented: "A lot of our success is based on the personal touch we offer to our customers as well as being able to provide a complete service. We have lots of repeat business and word of mouth referrals, which is great for us. We had outgrown the Market Weighton premises and had always wanted to move to a road front location to take advantage of more passing trade and raising awareness of the business within the local community.”

The site for the new premises, on the edge of the new Pocklington Business Park and one of the main routes into the town, was acquired 4 years ago although the building work didn’t start until November 2017. Fast forward to June 2019 and a lot of hard work later, and the new state of the art showroom finally opened its doors to the public marking the start of a new era for Home Fit UK.

Fenton said, “We are delighted with the new showroom. We wanted to be in the heart of the community. We are a family business employing local people and we are very supportive of the town and the local area. The move has already had a positive effect on business and we get a lot more people calling in and just being more aware of us and what we can offer to both trade and retail customers.

“The two businesses [Home Fit and Swanhome] complement each other really well and our team of professional tradespeople can move between them depending on where the demand is at the time, so we have a lot of flexibility and can adapt quickly to the peaks and troughs in the market. There are still huge challenges. The trades are less popular with young people coming through and it is harder to find skilled tradespeople although many of our builders, joiners, plumbers and electricians have been with us for many years so we are lucky to have that stability and expertise. We also offer apprenticeships to try and attract younger people into the industry.”

Fenton’s own career journey into the construction industry started at the age of 7 when he used to spend a lot of time on building sites with his father at Swanhome. His flair for construction and design continued when he was a pupil at Pocklington School. He was taught by current Head of Design, Steve Ellis, and gained an A in Design at A-level. After school, he took a break from education and went back to working on the building sites with his father for a year before eventually going to study Construction Management at Northumbria University, winning a prize for his placement year. After his degree he worked for York Health Services Trust as a Building Manager where he found himself managing over 60 employees and various aspects of construction from maintenance to new build. – a daunting task for most, however Fenton took it all in his stride having already gained a lot of confidence and experience from his younger days on the building sites.

A few years later, his father’s business, Swanhome, was expanding, acquiring planning for 25 houses on a site in Market Weighton amongst its other ongoing sites. At this point the opportunity was right for Fenton to re-join the family business to take on the projects and help enable his family to grow the business further. A few years later after the continued success of Swanhome, Fenton and his family set up Home Fit UK with the aim of providing products and services to people who wanted to improve their homes rather than move. This combined with excellent customer service proved to be a successful formula and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

Today, it is Fenton’s son, Kai, a current pupil at Pocklington School, who is continuing the family flair for business and design having recently won a pitch to rebrand Whole Crop Marketing, a nationally acclaimed potato company based near Driffield. Read more here

For further information see: www.homefituk.co.uk and www.swanhomedevelopments.co.uk.

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