A BUILDING firm based in Newport since 1931 has expressed its “delight” after being recognised as one of the UK’s most “inspiring” and fast growing small businesses.

Independent builder merchant, Hughes Forrest Ltd, was listed in the 2016 London Stock Exchange’s ‘100 Companies to Inspire Britain”.

The report recognises small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) who have demonstrated positive growth over the last four years and those outperforming their sector peers.

Joint Managing Director of Hughes Forrest Ltd, Richard Brian, said he was “proud” to receive the acknowledgement and “thankful to all our team who helped achieve this.”

The firm stocks over 100,000 building materials ranging from bricks, blocks and drainage to roofing, ironmongery and landscaping. It also runs a large kitchen and bathroom showroom in Newport.

While the firm today has established a reputation in South East Wales, commanding a large fleet of lorries to supply goods, it has been based in the Newport for nearly a century.

Previously known as Hughes Forrest and Evans (Newport) Ltd the firm was established in 1931 by Tom Hughes, Frank Forrest and David Evans, trading from Bangor Warf on the River Usk.

After their premises were subject to compulsory purchase order from Newport City Council, the firm moved to Bolt Street in Pillgwenlly in 1970 and still trades there today.

In 1998 it also expanded for the first time, taking over Blackwood Building Supplies at Starks Yard in Pontllanfraith. The expansion was so successful that 2007 saw the firm relocate to larger premises.

The £1million Blackwood move involved Hughes Forrest Ltd turning a former manufacturing unit on Newbridge Road Industrial Estate into a 24,000 square foot builders merchants.

Further expansion also took place in 2004, with the purchase of Harrison’s Builder’s Yard, in Ebbw Vale and over the years the company his continue to spread its reach and customer base.

Its head office in Bolt Street now manages five sites in South Wales including Newport, Blackwood, Ebbw Vale, Cardiff and Pontypridd.

But co-owner Mr Brian stressed that the firm has “always been 100 per cent behind Newport”.

“Newport has been host to some exiting events in recent years,” he said.

“The 2010 Ryder Cup and the NATO Conference in 2012 stand out but also the return of Newport County to the football league after a 25 year break.

“The positive feel from Friars Walk, has given a boost to local people and business alike (and) the new restaurants and shops have breathed life into the city centre.”

For more information on the Newport firm, visit www.hughesforrest.com.