Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon

As a global manufacturer of hydroelectric turbines, Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon knows all about how to harness strength and power. Among its own strengths has been the ability to take a long-sighted view of the global marketplace.

"The company is more than 160 years old and in private ownership," Chairman Charles Crewdson says. "It therefore has a longer investment outlook than the norm."

There has also been an emphasis on export markets away from Europe, which has helped the business treble its turnover in the last three years.

  • Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon has been in operation for more than 160 years. It is now a global company

It’s a far cry from a few years ago, when the company was weighed down by its pension scheme. "The debilitating effect of a final-salary pension scheme cannot be emphasised enough – constant changes in actuarial assumptions and the implementation of the Pension Levy very nearly crippled the company," Charles recalls. "Divesting the pension scheme to the Pension Protection Fund was the catalyst for us to finally generate cash to invest in the company rather than feed the scheme."

The company has also taken steps to compete globally. "We never outsourced our manufacturing abroad and the more realistic valuation of the pound, together with our investment in new machinery, has allowed us to remain competitive," Charles says.

Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon is now planning to invest in its workforce by offering apprenticeships and sponsoring undergraduates – all part of ensuring a company with a long and successful past enjoys an even brighter future.

  • Region: NW England
  • Sector: Mechanical or Industrial Engineering