Made for Trade celebrates 40 years

Bradley and Ashley Gaunt
Bradley and Ashley Gaunt
Bradley and Richard Gaunt
Bradley and Richard Gaunt

Made for Trade celebrated 40 years in business in December. Originally established as Aanco by Richard Gaunt in 1979, the company was officially incorporated on 13 December 1983.

A business that began as a supplier and installer of windows and conservatories to the retail market throughout the 1980s and 1990s, it moved from an original location in Sheffield to the North East, establishing a reputation for ‘raising the bar and doing things differently’ in that busy PVC-U sales era.

It wasn’t long before that reputation was firmly established in the Tees Valley area. The company invested in the region with a purpose-built Teesside factory, followed by a show village to engage with consumers and showcase products.

That same quality-led ethos has remained at the core of the business for the last four decades, and during its transition from retail to trade. Today the company steadfastly remains a family enterprise with a workforce in excess of 250.

The strive to constantly improve production and manufacturing took a leap forwards in the early 2000s when Richard’s son Bradley joined the team, bringing with him qualified experience in lean manufacturing – a step change that brought new efficiencies and precision engineering standards. The Made for Trade name was established in 2005 and the company continued to grow under new leadership.

The next significant step came in 2016, with the launch of the Korniche brand.

The first Korniche product to market was the aluminium roof lantern. Designed for ease of installation and to reduce the time spent on site for installers, it was introduced at the 2016 FIT Show and the Homebuilding and Renovating Show two years later.

With an ever-growing engineering team now headed up by Bradley’s brother, Ashley Gaunt – recruited back to the family firm from his role designing motorsport suspension systems in Italy – the second ‘clean-sheet’ Korniche product was the innovative bi-folding door, launched at the 2019 FIT Show.

Production commenced the following year just as the company settled into a new home; a 120,000ft2 three-factory site in Wynyard that brought most of the core functions of Made for Trade under one roof. From initial quotation to final delivery – something which would soon include glass on the same drop – Made for Trade now served the entire UK market.

The next three years saw extensive growth as the family team geared up to meet exceptional demand; whilst a new site in Hartlepool underwent redevelopment ready for the next stage of expansion. Of key importance during this time was gaining ISO 9001 accreditation for quality standards; another landmark in manufacturing for a company in the fenestration industry.

The Korniche rooflight was unveiled in MFT’s 40th anniversary year, at the 2023 FIT Show, capitalising on market demand – now available to order with deliveries starting in January.

Made for Trade is poised to continue its upward trajectory of growth and success in its 40th anniversary year as alongside new products it prepares trade days, press events, and in-house celebrations to honour its dedicated staff, many of whom have been with the company throughout its remarkable journey.