Founder of plastics firm sells business he launched with £9,000 loan

The founder of a plastics fabrication business, which started life in a barn near Bristol Airport more than 30 years ago, has retired after selling the company to new owners.

Colin Vye founded Marcol Fabrications (Plastics) Ltd with business partner Mark Godfrey in 1990, helped by a loan of just £9,000, in a farm building on Row of Ashes Lane in Redhill.

More than 30 years later and the company was turning over more than £1.5m when the pair decided to sell to new owners, becoming part of Safety Critical Plastic Solutions Group.

Now based in Nailsea, the company has grown to employ 14 staff and continues to produce high quality thermoplastic fabrications including chemical storage and process tanks, ductwork and pipework skids for a broad range of industries in the South West and across the UK.

Mr Vye, who lives in Portishead, has managed to move into retirement aged 59, following expert advice from accountant Tim Bowden at Bristol SME specialists Haines Watts.

“It’s the last leg of an amazing journey in business,” said Mr Vye. “When Mark and I started we were like a lot of entrepreneurs – great at what we could do but winging it a bit on the business strategy and doing whatever we needed to do to survive.

“We didn’t want our clients seeing our premises so we’d drive up to places like Yorkshire for meetings, pretending we were in the area anyway.

“We did lots of overtime, sacrificed a great deal but never let go of our belief and our passion. We’ve been supported by some great advice along the way and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved.”

Instrumental to Marcol’s growth over recent years was investment in 2015 in a new vehicle and workshop equipment, communication and stock control systems, as well as creating two new jobs.

Advice from Haines Watts allowed the company to claim 20 per cent of the qualifying capital and revenue costs, following the grant from the West of England Growth Fund.

“It’s just one example of how Haines Watts have helped us over the years,” said Mr Vye. “They were great during Covid, too.

“Like many SME owners, we’re great at what we do but not experts at finances or office management, so receiving expert professional advice is key.

“And when it came to selling up, Tim was great. We’ve built up a strong relationship over the years and I trusted him, alongside the lawyer and the financial adviser, to do what was in my best interests.

“Overall I’m happy to have wrapped up our involvement with the business after more than 40 years in the industry. I’m financially satisfied and looking forward to spending more time at home, in the gym, and travelling.”

Mr Bowden said: “We’re delighted to have helped Colin exit the company he founded and to have reached a satisfactory conclusion to his business career.

“There’s a reason that Haines Watts specialises in SME accountancy – we love supporting entrepreneurs on their business journeys, being partners in their growth and acting as a trusted adviser in the decisions they want to make.

“We wish Colin and Mark all the best and hope their story can be an inspiration to other entrepreneurs looking to start or finish business careers of their own.”


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