Family-run Teesside business passed from father to son wins King's Award for Enterprise

A Teesside family business has been given the royal seal of approval after achieving a King's Award for Enterprise.

'Made For Trade' has won the award for innovation. The Wynyard-based firm makes aluminium bi-folding doors and conservatory systems. The company invented a patented solar-powered aluminium lantern roof - which it says is the solution to allowing light into single storey extensions.

The firm says the Korniche Lantern Roof can be fitted in minutes and is a vast improvement from conservatory roofs, which can be cumbersome to put up, and lack thermal efficiency.

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'Made For Trade' is run by Bradley Gaunt, who took over from his father Richard Gaunt. The company was down to just 11 employees in 2004, when Bradley took over at the age of 23 - a few years after graduating with a degree in engineering.

He said: “I was only 23 and so I went round and got to understand everybody’s jobs and how the whole operation worked. Then I looked at what was working and how we could do things better.

“Forty years ago when we started, my father was manufacturing and installing pvc windows on Teesside. We had a good name for ourselves, but the domestic market was getting tough and I wanted us to innovate.

“We began focussing more on the trade manufacturing side and making great quality products that were easy to assemble, at a really good price. From there we designed the Korniche Aluminium Lantern Roof. Structurally its stronger, aesthetically it’s so much better, it’s solar controlled and is easier to install.”

The company now employs 230 workers. Bradley's brother Ashley helped to design the lantern roof. Ashley Gaunt used to work as a chassis designer for a car company in Italy, before he joined the family firm.

Sister Lois works in customer services for the company, which was founded 40 years ago, when dad Richard manufactured and installed PVC windows, across Teesside. The company has its headquarters in Wynyard with manufacturing sites at Portrack Lane, Stockton, and Brenda Road, Hartlepool.

The King’s Awards for Enterprise is the most prestigious business award in the country, with successful businesses able to use the esteemed King’s Awards Emblem for the next five years. Managing Director Bradley Gaunt said: “Winning this award validates our team’s hard work and dedication. It boosts our reputation and opens up new opportunities for growth and collaboration.

"Thanks to everyone at Made For Trade for their passion and commitment. Together, we’ll keep innovating and achieving success.”