The top 100 companies in Kirklees for 2022/23 have been unveiled today at the initiative’s first ever face-to-face launch event. Four new businesses entered the top 10 with the battle for the top place being tightly fought between the region’s biggest hitters.
Buy It Direct now holds the top spot, overtaking last year’s leaders Thornton & Ross. PPG Architectural Coatings maintains its position in third. Five new entries made it to the Top 10, with 25 companies new to the overall list, demonstrating Kirklees’ vibrant and diverse business economy with a wide range of services and manufacturers.
The Kirklees Top 100 Companies is a partnership between the University of Huddersfield, Kirklees Council, the Huddersfield Examiner, and the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre (3M BIC) that has renewed its commitment to celebrating the top firms in the district for the third year running.
The 2021 list was unveiled today at its first face-to-face at the John Smith’s Stadium, supported by Huddersfield Town Football Club, with representatives from the top 100 businesses and partner organisations in attendance.
As expected, businesses that thrived during the pandemic and made it into the Top 10, include online retailers, computing, health-related companies, as well as others in financial services, brand consultancy, paint production, textile flooring specialists, recovery services and civil engineering.
Buy it Direct was named the most successful company in Kirklees this year having taken the top spot from previous winners, Thornton & Ross. Based on Leeds Road in Huddersfield and founded in 1999 by Nick Glynne, Buy It Direct sells products such as laptops, kitchen appliances, TVs, furniture and bathrooms through a network of websites including Laptops Direct, Appliances Direct and Furniture 123. The group now employs around 1,000 employees with sites nationwide serving the whole of the UK.
On winning the top accolade, Buy it Direct’s CEO and founder, Nick Glynne, said: “I’ve never taken a lifestyle approach to business – it has always been about building BID for the long term. Business is a bit like snakes and ladders – the pandemic and the drift to online was a fantastic ladder, the snake comes from inflation, freight charges and the recession. A long-term approach to business means you can benefit from the good times and manage the challenging times.”
“Kirklees is an amazing place to work and base a business. People are its best offering. We are proud to be named the top company in the district and gain recognition for our long-term strategy.”
The top 10 companies on Kirklees for 2022/23 are:
- Buy It Direct Group – one of the UK’s largest online retailers based in Huddersfield, incorporating several other brands including Appliances Direct, Laptops Direct and Furniture 123.
- Thornton & Ross – one of the largest OTC pharmaceutical manufacturers in the UK, exporting to over 80 countries worldwide and creating household names such as Zoflora, Covonia, Cetraben and Hedrin.
- PPG Architectural Coatings – Europe’s largest paint manufacturing complex, which makes paint brands Johnstone’s and Leyland, based at a 65-acre site in Birstall where it has been since 1983.
- Isaac Timmins Limited – Originally founded as Isaac Timmins Ltd in 1929, the Myers Group can trace its modern-day heritage back to 1959 when Readymix Huddersfield was incorporated and has since expanded into a regional business with four strategically located manufacturing plants.
- PCSpecialist Limited – Europe’s leading system integrator, specialising in build to order PCs, Laptops, AIOs and Servers, with a focus on building high-performance systems for enthusiasts, gamers and professionals.
- Tandem 1987 Limited – a global brand and implementation consultancy, trading under the name Principle Global. Starting out in 1987 as sign experts on the Tandem Industrial Estate at Waterloo, it now has 22 offices across the globe and works with big names such as BMW, Debenhams, Sky and HSBC.
- Fintel PLC – FINTEL PLC is the new name for Simply Biz. For nearly two decades, SimplyBiz has been the UK’s leading support services business. It provides high quality comprehensive compliance and business support to thousands of financial advisers throughout the UK.
- FMG Support Group Limited – FMG was established in 1986 in Huddersfield and remains one of the largest private employers in the town. It is one of the UK’s only Incident Management and Roadside Services Specialists committed to reducing the frequency and impact of incidents.
- Mabey Hire Limited – Mabey Hire is an award-winning temporary works specialist and has been at the forefront of its industry for 60 years delivering temporary works schemes for some of the most complex and largest construction and infrastructure projects in the UK.
- Phoenox Textiles Limited – Phoenox Textiles was established almost 70 years ago in Scissett and has grown to become one of the UK’s leading textile manufacturers. It’s the country’s main manufacturer of rugs and mats for the home, with innovation and sustainability at its core.
The full Kirklees Top 100 Companies list and more information about the initiative can be found here kirklees100.hud.ac.uk. The event brochure which includes information on the each of the Top 100 companies can also be downloaded. Hard copies of the brochure will be available from all four partner organisations from 5 October.
A spin-off Careers Edition of the brochure, sponsored by CityFibre, is also being launched soon to inspire young people across Kirklees and Calderdale with the vast array of exciting careers with companies that are right on their doorstep.
Those in attendance included Jacqui Gedman, CEO of Kirklees Council, Daniel McGeachie, head of partnerships & business development at Huddersfield Town Football Club, Kristen Holley, head of UK operations from Thornton & Ross and Nick Lancaster, director of research, innovation and knowledge exchange at the University of Huddersfield, who took part in a discussion panel on the day.
Partner representatives included Councillor Shabir Pandor, leader of Kirklees Council; Sue Cooke, CEO of 3M Buckley Innovation Centre (3M BIC), Professor Jill Johnes, dean of Huddersfield Business School who announced the top 100 list.
List sponsor CityFibre’s city manager, Steve Moore, announced special awards for the list’s Highest Climber, Highest Placed SME, and Highest New Entrant, awarded to Spectrum Yarns, Interiors Goods Direct Ltd and Phoenox Textiles, respectively.
Councillor Shabir Pandor, leader of Kirklees Council, said: “Being able to celebrate the achievements of Kirklees’ companies today has been fantastic, after what has been a challenging period for many. The business community plays a crucial role in our local economy, which is why it’s so important that we support it to help it thrive for future generations. We are certainly putting Kirklees on the map as a place not just for small businesses but global organisations, showcasing innovation and our globally respected manufacturing and textile heritages.”
Professor Bob Cryan, CBE, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, said: “It’s been interesting to see the diverse range of businesses that have featured in this year’s list. The district has a strong heritage in manufacturing, textiles, health and engineering, with companies of all sizes driving forward innovation. It’s great to see businesses flourish and be given the opportunity to showcase their capabilities and achievements through the Kirklees Top 100 to help inspire future generations across Kirklees.”
Sue Cooke, CEO of the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre, said: “Today we were able to bring together the Kirklees business community for the first time since the initiative was launched three years ago. The Kirklees Top 100 has always been about increasing collaboration across Kirklees, so we’re hoping more and more businesses within the Top 100 list will take advantage of being part of this exclusive list over the coming years and seek opportunities to collaborate and drive future business growth.”