In it for the long haul

A family firm’s 90 year journey from a horse and cart delivering coal to a modern logistics operation employing more than 320 people was the focus of Lancashire Business View’s latest networking event.

Stephen and Graham Fagan, of logistics group Fagan & Whalley, told the story of the business’ growth to an audience of around 80 people at the gathering, held at Birchall Foodservice’s headquarters at Hapton.

The brothers represent the fifth generation of the family behind the Padiham-based business and they each have a son working in the company.

The  90th anniversary has been marked with the opening of an impressive new head office and a purpose built 93,000 sq ft state-of-the-art warehouse on two prime sites in its home town – an £8m-plus investment in the future of the business and a sign of confidence in the area.

Operations director Graham recalled the history and heritage of the business and how it began life delivering coal from railway sidings in Hapton village with its early growth driven by the county’s textile industry.

However, as cotton declined the business had to look for new customers. He said: “We diversified and have grown alongside local businesses around the area.

Commercial director Stephen said the company’s roots were firmly planted in the area and spoke of its strong relationships with local businesses. He added: “We have carved out a niche for ourselves in terms of customer service."

The Lancashire Business View event was held to launch the March/April edition of the magazine at Birchall Foodservice. It includes a full interview with Stephen and Graham.

A panel of funding experts also gave their advice on to the audience in a question and answer session hosted by publisher Richard Slater.

Sue Barnard from the British Business Bank, Jo Fulthorpe of Business Enterprise Trust, Fiona Castela from Castela Consulting, Steve Worrall of Haydock Finance and Jane Pennington of Kingsley Asset Finance sat on the panel.

They discussed a range of funding issues from access to finance for small businesses to help and support for start-ups.



  LBV79 Networking Event - Birchall Foodservices