It’s two years since Fencing News last caught up with Preston-based Welch Fencing. That was during the Covid-19 pandemic and since then the business, founded 47 years ago by Bill Welch, has managed to stay ahead of the curve.
Bill’s son and current MD Neil Welch explained: “The last couple of years have been extremely busy largely due to the pandemic when a lot of people were at home and unable to go away on holidays resulting in more spending on home improvement.
“The increase in demand led to issues with the supply of the raw materials that we need to operate. Getting hold of cement, timber, and other raw materials was a challenge during and immediately after the pandemic.
“The cost-of-living crisis has inevitably had an impact. We’ve experienced a slow start to 2023, not helped by the weather, but we are hoping for another positive year once we get past this wet January,” added Neil.
The business has definitely not rested on its laurels in recent times with recruitment and fleet investment helping to provide a springboard for further growth.
“We added another pickup vehicle to deliver fencing panels locally and also hired a few extra staff to help in the yard, serve customers and prepare loads for delivery.
“We have also added an electric forklift to our fleet as we look to move with the times going forward and a new crane wagon is on order for household deliveries across the UK.
“We have been exceptionally lucky to not encounter any issues with recruitment. Our staff have been loyal during the last couple of years with the majority sticking with us,” he added.
Product innovation and development is also at the heart of what Welch Fencing do with Neil identifying a few recent trends.
“The plain concrete gravel boards seem to have taken over from the rock face design as the more popular option for customers, they feel it gives the garden a more contemporary look. The 4” x 4” concrete posts are also becoming more popular amongst our bulk customers, possibly down to them being a lighter weight.
“We offer both pyramid and bobble top concrete posts. We are also carrying more stock than previous years of 4”x 4” post as well as continuing to manufacture the more popular 5”x 4” posts. We now sell pressure treated panels in the green and brown to accompany our range of concrete posts and gravel boards. We used to only sell dip treated panels but can now offer the pressure treated panels delivering a longer life span for our customers.
“Like every household and business we are finding increasing energy costs to be a real challenge. Whilst the recent government announcement about ongoing, albeit reduced support is welcome, it is far from the answer,” added Neil.
The Welch Fencing website https://www.garden-fencepanels.co.uk/ is a testament to the efforts of Neil and his team. Undoubtedly one of the best sites around, it reflects the commitment to quality that runs throughout the business.
Neil concluded, “Welch Fencing is a family firm and we are trying our best to keep our prices competitive during these difficult times.”