This year, SBS Electrical turns 50, and the team is excited to celebrate!
Established in 1972 by long-time friends Steven Wilkinson, Barrie Bamford, and Stephen Crane, SBS was set up to deliver electrical engineering services to domestic and commercial clients in and around Pendle.
As we approach our 50-year anniversary, we’re proud to reflect upon and acknowledge how much the company has developed over the years.
1972… Where it all began
“I’d known Steven Wilkinson since school, and we later met Stephen Crane whilst studying for our ONC at college,” says Barrie Bamford, one of the founders of SBS. “We all had a few years of experience working as electricians, and when we realised the demand for electrical work in the local area, we decided to set up on our own and create SBS.
“Initially, we were offering electrical engineering services for domestic clients across Burnley, Nelson, Colne and Accrington, with a lot of the jobs involving house rewires in local estates, but myself and Steven Craine already had experience with designing control panels, and we were able to build upon this to expand the industrial side of the business.
“During the first three or four years, we’d managed to build a good reputation and a strong list of contacts, and we started to see a shift in the type of work we were doing, with more of our time spent on commercial and industrial projects as that side of the business was developing.
“50 years on, SBS is now recognised as a specialist in the North West for the provision of electrical and mechanical engineering services to clients across all sectors and industries, including for hospitals, schools, manufacturing and production facilities, and local authorities, and it’s great to see it doing so well.”
2002… Talk of change
“Since joining the company back in 1990, it’s been a pleasure to watch it grow and evolve into what it is today,” says Alistair Brown, Managing Director here at SBS. “I came on board as an Electrical Engineering apprentice following a 3-week work placement over thirty years ago. In the time I’ve been here, the company has gone from strength to strength, and it’s very exciting to see SBS celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
“Having worked my way up within the company and spent time working as a qualified electrician, eventually gaining experience running some fairly sizeable projects myself, it was a proud moment for me to have my work recognised by the three founders back in 2002, when they approached me to discuss their long-term plans for the business. At that time, they outlined the potential for me to move into an office-based role with the view to eventually taking on a directorial role at some point in the future. I made the move into the office and became Contracts Manager in 2006, and the big move to Managing Director later came in 2016.
“Since I made the move into the role of Managing Director, there have been a number of significant changes implemented in order to facilitate further growth for the business, including the acquisition of another local electrical contracting company – Safe Electrical – in 2018. With this acquisition, we integrated the company’s owner, Liam Mulready, into our own team, welcoming him on board as our Commercial Director in a bid to develop the M&E turnkey package arm of the business. The aim was to expand into offering a complete turnkey service for M&E projects, and having Liam on board allowed us to extend our reach to new clients and obtain bigger mechanical and electrical contracts.”
2022… 50 years strong
“We’re all very excited to be celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary this year, and we have a number of events planned in the calendar to mark the occasion,” says SBS Commercial Director, Liam Mulready. “Later on this year, a number of us will be taking part in the Three Peaks Challenge to raise funds for Pendleside Hospice and Manchester Children’s Hospital, and in July we’ll be hosting a 50th birthday party at Finsley Gate in Burnley, which is set to be attended by the company’s three founders, as well as previous team members and some of our long-standing clients. We can’t wait!”
“Looking ahead into 2022 and beyond, we’re excited to continue with our plans for further development, and have another acquisition planned which will allow us to expand our controls services,” says Liam. “As a company with a proud 50-year history, maintaining and building upon the strong reputation that the original founders succeeded in establishing all those years ago is one of our core priorities.
“Whilst it’s our time to head up the business now, our shared aim is to ensure our staff, clients and partners are well looked after so that, at some point in the future, we can pass a successful business down once more to a new generation of engineers who are establishing themselves in the industry, with the hope that fifty years from now, the SBS team will be celebrating a century in business.”