A Lincoln construction firm is looking back over its significant growth 18 years after it was founded.
Minster Surfacing, which started life in a portakabin with a remortgaged house, now turns over more than £8 million each year and employs 40 people.
The company counts The Highways Agency, Anglian Water and the MOD among its customers, as well as Lincolnshire County County on behalf of Kier Group.
Last year, it also opened its new three-acre headquarters in Lincoln, just past the Lincolnshire Showground off the A15.
Bruce Spencer-Knott, founder and managing director of Minster Surfacing, said: “Reaching 18 is a real achievement for us after years of hard work. I had the belief in the business in the early days, but it’s been a team effort from everyone here to make Minster what it is today.
“We’ll be having a cake, candles and plenty of champagne to celebrate – but after that we’ll be back to work. Lincolnshire’s our home, and it’s been kind to us over the past two decades. Now we want to help inspire other entrepreneurs in the county to grow their businesses and the local economy too.”
Minster was founded in North Hykeham in Lincoln in 1999 after Bruce Spencer-Knott remortgaged his home to cover startup costs, against his bank manager’s advice. He hoped to turn over £350,000 in year one; he actually managed £1 million.
The company’s customer list continued to grow, first through local work and then national road surfacing contracts from the likes of Balfour Beatty, Carillion Amey, TARMAC and Gelder Group.
Then in 2007, the company won its first contract with the MOD. Its team now works nationwide for the British Army, Royal Navy and RAF and even has a satellite office at RAF Brize Norton, from where its team covers prestigious bases such as Sandhurst, Horse Guards’ Parade and Victoria Barracks in Windsor.
Closer to home, Minster is permanently employed by the local authority (through the Highways Alliance via Kier Group), maintaining the region’s roads and offering a 365-day, 24/7 emergency response team.
Work already completed this year includes Gibraltar Point near Skegness, Caistor High Steet and Roughton.
The company stayed in North Hykeham until last year, when it commissioned local firm Stirlin Developments to build its new premises. The new, bigger site has allowed Minster to recycle more waste road material than ever – over 20,000 tonnes since November – as well as growing its team to 40 full-time employees and subcontractors.
It also recently launched a new website, Pothole Pete, to let the public track the progress of pothole repairs on Lincolnshire’s roads carried out by Minster, on behalf of Kier Group, in real-time.