The Gelder Group was originally established in 1988 as a two man operation trading as SP Gelder Builders. As the company’s reputation for quality workmanship grew, it was not long before the company started to employ additional labour to cope with the demand for its services.
In 1993, the firm incorporated into Gelder Ltd and traded as Gelder Construction. At the same time, the company undertook its most challenging and largest contract since its inception, the conversion of a dilapidated old farm house, which had historically been a coaching inn, into an award winning guest house and 12 new properties (The Black Swan, Marton).
In May 1995, approval was given to convert a group of old farm buildings into offices, stores and a workshop for Gelder Ltd.
During 1996, the company embarked on its largest housing development consisting of 47 new homes, for which it would later be presented with an award at the British House Builder of the Year awards at the Park Lane Hilton hotel in London.
The company moved into the current offices on Tillbridge Lane, Sturton by Stow in the spring of 1997 and had a formal opening in October 1997. A year later the company was awarded the Rural Development Commission’s “Redundant Building” award for the quality of the renovation.
During 1998 &1999 Gelder Ltd grew significantly, gaining a reputation for quality and service in many different sectors of the industry. In 1999, the company’s turnover had grown to £5m and it had 80 employees.
In 2000, additional offices were added to the existing in order to cope with the increase in staffing infrastructure required to grow and manage the business properly. Within two years turnover had doubled to £10m and the number of Gelder employees had increased by 50% to 120.
To reflect the significant growth in the company and the diversity of the building works undertaken, in January 2004 Gelder Ltd it changed its principle trading name to Gelder Group.
Also in January 2004 planning permission was received to extend its Group headquarters by around 50%, adding 17 new offices and 2000 square feet of secure stores and garage facilities. This £650,000 project was completed in 2005 and on the 4th October 2005 the Group welcomed His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO to carry out an official opening ceremony.
By the end of 2005 turnover had grown to over £16 million and staff members increased to over 160. Demand from several clients for it to increase its trading area led it to open its first regional office in January 2006, a 3600 square foot unit located just off the M1 at Barlborough. This is now home of our North Midlands Insurance Repair & Renovation office.
In November 2007 the 1 acre lake, the centre piece of the Group’s 13 acre environmental project to the rear of the Head Office was completed. The project includes a 55,000 litre grey water system, 3200 trees, 3 large reed beds, an owl tower, several nesting boxes & bee hives. The project completely offset all carbon dioxide generated by our Head Office activities.
November 2007 also saw the Group purchase River Cottage, a complex adjacent to the Head Office site that included a 5 bedroom farmhouse, 6 acres of land and a collection of redundant out-buildings. This was converted into further offices and what is now, the Gelder Group’s Training Academy.
By 2008 staff members increased to 300, fleet vehicles increased to 170 and turnover reached £30 million. The company opened its 3rd Regional Office in Kettering. This new office extended the Gelder Group’s trading area across the midlands, bringing it into contact with a potential 5 million new customers. By the end of 2008 the Gelder Group’s trading area had grown to incorporate a sixth of the UK.
Also in 2008 new premises were purchased at Aisthorpe, Lincoln. Out of this 7,200 square foot complex operate two new Gelder Group operations: Redline Building Supplies & LoveDIY evolved.
2008 bought with it the ‘Banking Crisis’ and the beginning of a new period of austerity for the UK. The beginning of the worst recession in living memory and with it came, both challenges and opportunities. The challenges remain with us to this day but opportunity came in 2009 when Tillbridge Developments was formed. The Gelder Groups commercial development arm that now sees us delivering convenience stores for customers such as Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s, Spar, and the National Co-operative.
Despite the harsher economic climate the Gelder Group continued to re-invest and develop its brand and two further companies were added in 2010. Dewpoint which provides expertise, professional training, auditing and consultancy to the damage management and insurance industries and Xeric a company that has grown to become the UK’s biggest national operator of high energy drying and pest elimination using heat.
To accommodate the new companies, additional Head Office space was created along with more car parking facilities, a one way road system and the complete refurbishment of River Cottage, the Groups training academy. Sales during this period also increased by some 20% to 37 million and staff numbers increased to 320, quite an achievement during the worst recession in living memory. Our success was celebrated with another Royal visit.
On 17th June 2010 Gelder Group staff and invited guests watched the Queen’s new Sikorsky helicopter land on a hastily created helicopter pad to the rear of the offices and welcomed for the second time, HRH the Duke of Gloucester, who officially opened our environmental park and planted a tree to commemorate his visit.
Austerity measures imposed by the coalition government really began to bite in 2011 and this saw the Gelder Group re-focus and re-structure to place greater emphasis on maintenance and insurance, repair and renovation sales as well as land purchases with the group purchasing several new development sites its first increase in its land bank for several years.
2011 also saw the Gelder Group’s training operation in River Cottage become involved with educating children classed as ‘disaffected’ and expelled from school. This initiative has received many plaudits and soon came along another initiative the ‘Gelder Virtual School’. A partnership with Lincoln County Council that provides alternative education for 14-16 year old children that have been expelled from school.
In 2013 we celebrated 25 years in business with a huge marquee covering the whole of our main office car park and 500 invited guests. Long service awards were presented and the event was followed by a well-supported staff party.
25 Years in business (2013) was a year of great highs for the Gelder Group. One of which was our presentation of a cheque for over £30,000 raised by our staff and customers for our chosen charities Alzheimer’s Society and St Barnabas.
In 2014 saw the Gelder Group enjoy its 3rd Royal visit, this time HRH The Princess Royal kindly agreed to launch the group’s new 3 year vision. It’s 20 by 17 challenge, which focused the Group on 20 core areas of the business with a clear Vision for the next 3 years.
2015 was a year of massive change at Gelder Group, driven by its 20 by 17 Vision the company completely re-structured, created a new Senior Management team (SMT), launched several new initiatives and closed down/relocated several businesses.
Despite the uncertainty created by BREXIT, 2016 proved to be a terrific year at Gelder Group. Not only did the company have record sales, staff and customer satisfaction scores also increased. The Group also partnered with Lincoln College to open the UK’s first ever Construction Careers College in Gainsborough and re-entered the housing market with the granting of planning for 22 units in Gainsborough and 7 units in Knaith.
2017 got off to a flying start with our Major Contracts Department winning ‘Development Project of the Year’ for the Kenwick Park Spa build in Louth at the Lincolnshire Construction and Properties awards. Other awards in the year included Best Large Commercial Project for the Cartergate build at the LABC awards and ‘Fastest Growing Company’ recognition from the Grant Thornton Report naming the top 200 company in the East Midlands. Growth pushed through all departments with the FMB department expanding and creating an office in Sheffield.
Gelder Group also supported local charity The Nomads Trust and sponsored a Knight in the ‘Lincoln Knights Trail’.
The largest milestone of 2017 was the completion of the Vision 2017, a culmination of three years’ work. The Vision, which was launched by HRH Princess Royal in 2014 set 20 bold goals across the business which was a huge success.
The biggest and by far the most humbling event of 2018 was winning ‘The Princess Royal Training Award’. The award was presented to Gelder Group for the work and training program it runs with apprenticeships. Presented by HRH The Princess Royal in Buckingham Palace the award represents the tireless commitment of the group’s CEO Steve Gelder, a previous apprentice himself. The Group also celebrated 30 years in business with a stand at the Lincolnshire show.
2019 saw Gelder Group re-enter the housing market with its own development of 9 Executive Bungalows in Knaith, Gainsborough under the brand of ‘Gelder Living’. The company also received an award nomination for Newark Fire Station as ‘Construction Project of the Year 2019’ and was awarded ‘Development Project of the Year Under £5m’ at the Construction and Property Awards for the North Sea Observatory project. Further afield Gelder Group held a seminar in London given by one of the UK’s leading motivational speakers Stuart Baldwin titled ‘The Optimism Advantage’.
In 2020 we completed our Vision 2020, secured the largest framework in Gelder Group history and we were all set to have a successful year ahead. The Pandemic hit and in March 2020 the country went into lockdown… but not Gelder Group. We continued to work with the essential services in hospitals, our staff committed to working through the pandemic either from home or in the field managing essential live projects. At the end of 2020 we celebrated with staff who had completed over 300 years of service with the company.