Naylors CEO enters his 30th year

28th June 2023

Naylor celebrates it's 133rd year and 30 years as Edward Naylor as CEO

Naylor Industries plc, based at Clough Green, Cawthorne is a long-established, leading British manufacturer of building and construction products, including clay and plastic pipes and concrete products.

Naylor was founded in 1890; those familiar with the company today would probably consider it Barnsley to its core, but the company actually started life over the border in West Yorkshire. Naylor owes its existence to the Denby Dale viaduct, over which Sheffield to Huddersfield trains still travel today. The viaduct was built by George William Naylor (1847-1888), a contractor to the emerging railway industry. The contract signed in 1877 proved problematic, taking two years to complete and not opening until 1880…but there was an unexpected fringe benefit: foundation works identified the presence of substantial clay deposits which in 1890 allowed George’s 20-year-old son George Wilfred Naylor (1870-1932) to set up a clay pipe works adjacent to the viaduct; the rest, as they say, is history.

Naylor’s early manufacturing processes bore all the hallmarks of the industrial revolution: steam boilers and coal-fired beehive kilns; pipes were salt glazed, and the company also manufactured filter tiles for many of the early sewage treatment works: early prestigious contracts included the new Manchester Royal Infirmary in 1905. In 1906, Naylor pipes were approved by the Crown Agents and soon thereafter the company began exporting to schemes across the then Colonies; the company remains an active exporter to this day, having supplied products into 65 different international markets.

The death of Allan Naylor (1935-1993) who had been Managing Director since the early 1960s marked something of a crisis for the company. The recession of the early 1990s had seen a steep decline in turnover which had resulted in substantial losses being incurred. His son, Edward Naylor, then aged 30, left his job as a City accountant and took the role of CEO – the fourth generation of the Naylor family to run the business.

2023 sees Edward Naylor enter his 30th year as CEO. Over his tenure, he has overseen a period of investment and diversification during which the business has dramatically increased in size- from £12m on accession to over £80m; the company today has seven sites- including manufacturing operations at Wombwell, Barugh Green and Cawthorne- and over 400 employees. Over recent years, the company has received several prestigious awards including a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2021 and the Connect Yorkshire ‘Family Business of the Year’ Award in 2022 and received a Royal Visit from HRH Duke of Kent on opening its big pipe plant in 2018.

Besides his work within Naylor, Edward is co-Chair of Lighthouse, the Construction Industry Charity, immediate past-President of the British Ceramic Confederation, a Board Member of Reds in the Community, the Charity affiliated with Barnsley FC and an Advisory Board Member of the University of York School for Business & Society.

Edward has ambitious growth plans for Naylor. He commented...

“We are proud of our reputation for quality products and personal service- but we are not resting on our laurels and are investing heavily in new plant and processes”: Naylor’s capital investment this year will exceed £6m. As a long-standing family business, people are at the heart of Naylor’s business and Edward added: “we have an active apprentice programme and have also sponsored 3 management trainees through Hallam University degree courses- a fantastic way of ensuring that we have talented young people coming through the ranks”.

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