However, rather than rest on its laurels, the Toomebridge-based company, which has been to the forefront of the Northern Ireland roofing and cladding sectors for many years, has ambitious growth plans that it believes will take it to the next level.
Established way back in 1965 by the current Managing Director’s parents, James (Jimmy), and Kathleen Thornton, this business has proven its resilience by emerging from the recent recession stronger than ever and is poised to capitalise on a raft of new opportunities that have presented themselves as discerning clients look to companies with a strong track record for delivery and a right-fit skill base. Managing Director, Stephen Thornton, believes his company is now well positioned to move forward into its second half century.
“We have been fortunate that we managed to hold on to our skilled workforce during the downturn,” he said. “We firmly believe that our people enable us to stand out in the market. Many of our team have more than 30 years of experience, which gives us access to a lot of know-how.
“As we go forward into our second 50 years, I believe it’s this bedrock of experience that will help us further build our reputation as one of the leading companies of our kind in Ireland and the UK.”
Thornton’s burgeoning portfolio of projects incorporates contracts works, small works and maintenance, architectural metal works, and fabrication.
The company’s contract works division undertakes a range of projects in the commercial, education, leisure, health and residential sectors, including the Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill; Altnagelvin Area Hospital; Ayrshire College; The Waterfront Conference Centre, Belfast; and Fosse Park Shopping Centre, Leicester.
In the past number of years the scale and complexity of Thornton projects have grown significantly.
“We are now well positioned to take on large scale construction, roofing and cladding projects throughout the UK and Ireland,” Stephen revealed.
“As preferred fitters for Kingspan, Rigidal and Tegral we have the relationships and back-up needed to ensure we can deliver. This is crucial in today’s demanding environment.
“One recent high profile project was at the Waterfront Conference Centre in Belfast, where we used our specialist cladding to help create a whole new look for one of the most iconic buildings in the city.
“This project, which lasted around 12 months and was worth circa £1.4m, incorporated the use of Brett Martin Marlon Click-fix Polycarbonates, Kingspan Benchmark Soffit Cassettes, as well as a range of architectural wall panels.”
As part of its bold expansion plans to invest £8m over the next five years and add 50 new jobs, Thornton is actively targeting specialist construction, roofing and cladding work in Britain – like the £2m scheme the company is currently completing at Ayrshire College, Scotland.
“This was another major project for us,” says Stephen. “Essentially we were tasked with providing value engineering solutions for this prestigious project. We used an Icopal Parabit hot melt system for the roof,to reinforce the ingenuity of the build.
“Continuing to take advantage of the best materials, we used the award-winning CGL rain-screen system for the front entrance and Alucobond panels. We also used our own manufactured architectural metal-works to give the building an outstanding, individual design. We PPC-coated the aluminium secret fix panels for the main façade at our premises.”
Within its small works division, Thornton undertakes new build, repairs and refurbishment projects. In addition, the company offers in-depth roof examinations for insurance purposes and a range of tailored maintenance packages designed around specific client needs and incorporating a 24-hour call-out team dedicated to dealing with emergencies.
Thornton has a strong reputation in architectural metal works too – perhaps made most famous by a project which featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs programme, where its expert team built an innovative home made from shipping containers for local man Patrick Bradley.
“Typically, our architectural metal works division produces decorative additions ranging from feature trimming and staircases to balustrades and a range of flashings and other accessories. However, the Grand Designs’ project was a nice one which we actually built from scratch,” said Stephen. “Patrick is a long-standing friend of mine and whilst it was a comparatively small scheme, it certainly created a lot of talk around the country.”
Thornton Roofing’s attention to detail and dedicated staff underpin the company’s position as market leader in its sector. The company boasts the knowledge, expertise and resources necessary to complete any job to the very highest standard.
For more information on Thornton Roofing, telepphone 028 7965 0368 or visit www.thorntonroofing.co.uk. Read our complete feature on Thornton Roofing – click here