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Schiedel Chimney Systems, of Washington, Wearside, hits milestone
A LEADING global chimney maker founded in the North-East is celebrating 45 years of trade.
The company, which employs more than 100 people, was founded in the North-East as Rite-Vent Ltd in 1968 by John Garrod and became one of Europe's largest chimney manufacturers before it was sold to Granville Venture Capital in a multi-million pound deal in 1996.
After a management buy-out in 2003, the company was bought by Schiedel and is today the only UK chimney maker offering an industry standard training centre.
The firm has worked on projects at the Olympic Stadiums in Athens and Rome, and Heathrow Airport, and makes wall flues, ducts and chimney liners suitable for gas, oil and multifuel at its North-East base.
It recently fitted a 40 metre free-standing chimney, boiler, generator and exhaust system at Darlington Memorial Hospital and installed new flues at Newcastle University.
Michael Ball, Schiedel chief executive, said the firm, which also has offices in Wimbourne, in Dorset, and Coalisland, in Northern Ireland, was committed to continuing its success.
He said: “The aim is to strengthen our leading position through the innovation and application of technology.
“This will come through combining our unrivalled experience and expertise in the field to give added value, and I am also convinced the level of customer service we offer has been key.”
Mr Ball, who was born in Whitley Bay, joined Rite-Vent's customer service department in 1994, and said the firm had a history of innovation, stemming from the introduction of its vent gas flue system in 1968.
He said the company had continued to re-develop its products throughout the decades, introducing flexible stainless steel chimney liners and twin wall insulated chimneys in the 1970s, and flexible flue liners for solid fuel applications throughout the 1980s.
During the 1990s, the firm, whose Dorset base now distributes firechests and chimneys made at its plant in Karup, Denmark, worked on chimney systems for high efficiency and condensing boilers, and introduced the first UK push fit system for diesel generators.
Mr Ball said the company is now working on prefabricated ducts for industrial use and methods of connecting flue pipes and insulated chimney system for the stove market.