ONE of the country’s leading suppliers of signage and brand graphics is celebrating a decade of growth in its custom-built Gateshead headquarters.

Astley moved into two buildings covering 62,000 sq ft of space in November 2009 with ambitious company objectives, which bosses say it has achieved many of.

Ten years ago, Astley hoped the move would support recruitment in the region and has seen its workforce increase by 30 per cent in that time, now employing 126 people at the Gateshead site.

It also sites across the UK including a creative facility in Kettering, Northamptonshire, where a further 36 staff are based.

Astley, which designs, manufactures and installs brand graphics for household brand names such as Sainsbury’s, BP, The Co-operative, Esso, CRUK, Sky and Hilton, has also invested heavily in a talent attraction programme which has resulted in several young people taken on as apprentices in areas of the business including production, design and marketing.

Gavin Redhead, commercial director, said: “When we moved into our custom-built facility on Team Valley, which was designed specifically to ensure our business objectives could be achieved, it was with a clear strategic ambition – to grow and establish Astley as a leading manufacturer within the signage industry. As we reflect on the decade since our relocation, there’s no doubt we’ve achieved that.

“We’re proud to say our workforce has increased by around 30 per cent at this site, which includes the recruitment of apprentices who we’ve been able to support with bespoke training, and we’ve also expanded our footprint geographically with sites in Glasgow, Leeds and of course Northampton. It’s such an exciting time for the company and it’s very worthwhile looking back over this last decade and evaluating how much the company has developed, thanks to the superb staff who work across all of our sites.”

Astley, whose three company directors will celebrate again in 2020 to mark 30 years since the management buyout, has enjoyed other highlights which have included the company securing the ISO 14001 accreditation, which now sits alongside the ISO 9001 and BS EN 1090 standards. Being awarded the CE Marking and BS EN 1090 Marking for Structural Steel stamp of excellence makes the manufacturer one of the first in the signage industry to be awarded the prestigious industry certificate to help reassure clients that their brands are in safe hands.

In late 2018, both Astley and Sign of the Times triumphed at the British Sign and Graphics Awards scooping a collective four wins in categories for Rollout Programme of the Year, Illuminated Sign of the Year, Craftsman Award and the Innovation Award.

Mr Redhead said: “It’s only when we sit back and analyse the past ten years that we realise just how much we’ve achieved. The challenge now is to build upon these achievements and continue to grow as a business, adding to our client portfolio, investing in the new, industry leading machinery and equipment and recruiting both experience and young talent who share our vision for success.”

Astley also manufactures and installs the Great North Run sponsor’s sign on the Tyne Bridge.