Dorset’s Wessex Group is one of the county’s business success stories – and celebrates its 50th anniversary in November.
Wessex Group began life in November 1963 when Tony Morgan, a recently qualified electrician, set up his electrical contracting business from his mother’s garage.
Over the years Wessex Electricals developed and grew to include Wessex Fire & Security, both now part of Wessex Group.
Still based in Shaftesbury in North Dorset where it all began, the group now employs about 400 staff and turns over more than £30 million. It has a growing presence across the country, but its heartlands remain in the ‘Wessex’ region.
Simon Morgan, 46, and his brother Alistair Morgan, 43, are Wessex Group’s joint Managing Directors following Tony’s phased retirement between 2001 & 2006, meaning the group is still very much a family affair, a quality that leads to it having many loyal and long-serving staff. For example, Gordon Green began as Tony’s first apprentice in 1965 and is now MD of Wessex Electricals.
“Reaching 50 years is an incredible achievement for the group and is down to the great foundations built by my father,” said Simon.
The Group has a plan to increase turnover to £45 million by 2018 and it is on course to do that. “We have a ten year plan that we put into place in 2008 – just as the economy crashed!” Simon said. “But we’ve weathered the storm and still expect to hit our targets, if not exceed them.
“In fact we want to be growing when we reach our 100th anniversary. It is of course possible, and I do hope, there are staff here now who will still be here in 2063.”
To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Wessex Group has produced a unique and interesting anniversary brochure. Click the link at the bottom of the page to flick through it on screen and send a request via our contact page to receive an original printed copy posted to you.
The Group is also celebrating its anniversary year by giving away “50 somethings” to a good cause or charity each month during 2013.
So far it has given 50 sensory toys to a charity for children with severe learning difficulties, planted 50 yards of snowdrops in Shaftesbury, supported 50 animals at a rescue charity, provided 50 vintage books for Max Gate, Thomas Hardy’s former home, supplied Gold Hill museum in Shaftesbury with 50 LED lamps, sponsored 50 birds at an owl sanctuary and donated 50 teddy bears to the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.
It also held a gala dinner at the Bournemouth International Conference Centre for staff and their partners and has further plans for events through the rest of the year.