Saturday 21 January 2012

Manufacture Focus: Cast Tec

Cast Tec has its origins back in 1983 when Managing Director Geoff Moore became a sole trader buying and restoring original cast-iron fireplaces using the family ‘dip & strip’ business premises in North Shields as a base.
Demand for cast-iron fireplaces was very limited in the early 1980’s but with a housing boom looming in the South-East weekly commuting took place to Camden Market in north London to sell fireplaces from an indoor market stall on a weekend.
1984 heralded a small shop unit in Camden Lock called the Victorian Fireplace Co. where original fireplaces purchased in the north-east were sold for 15 years.
1987 saw the restoration and manufacturing side of the business moving to a factory workshop in Washington, Tyne & Wear.
Brian Hart, now Cast Tec’s Operations Director, joined from the company at this time to take on the responsibility for running the workshop.
1990 saw the housing boom turn sour and the recession of the early 1990’s affected trading conditions in the London shop. The response was to open a retail showroom in the Washington premises in the north. Called Grate Expectations, the showroom opened in 1989 and traded for 15 years.
1998 saw the humble beginnings of Cast Tec when it was decided that the Distribution of Reproduction cast-iron fireplaces to the trade would be the way forward. It was the only way supply could meet demand in the future and an approach was made by Britannia Castings which resulted in the exclusive rights for Cast Tec to distribute what became the Portman Collection range of cast-iron products in the UK.
1999 heralded the end of an era with the closure of The Victorian Fireplace Co. shop in Camden Lock due to the increasing difficulty of obtaining original fireplaces with demand outstripping supply.
That year Tony Byrne, who ran the London shop from 1995-99, became the first sales/delivery driver for Cast Tec progressing on to become Sales Director. 
2002 saw Cast Tec become a Limited Company and the following year they gained the exclusive rights to import and distribute the Agnews range of quality cast-iron fireplaces throughout the UK mainland.
2005 saw the established Firemaster name and range of products being brought into the Cast Tec stable on behalf of the Ouzledale Foundry Co. Ltd.
2006 heralded an exciting move for the 20 staff of Cast Tec Ltd. to a new 30,000 sq ft. factory premises inside the Port Of Tyne in South Shields where they have access to the Port’s outstanding facilities.

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