IT'S supplied awnings and parasols for the 2012 Olympics, Lords Cricket Ground and the revamped Wembley Stadium.

Now Trevor Ruddle wants to grow his Indigo Awnings business and has his sights set on a site just outside Mold.

“We've weathered the recession and now we're on the up and up,” he says. “We've come through some very bad times, but now there's some light to ease the gloom.”

Trevor, who built his reputation in home improvement companies, bought Indigo Awnings, founded 27 years ago, in the summer of 2000.

At that time the firm had a turnover of about £200,000. At its peak some six years later the figure had grown to just under £2m.

“The al fresco market was booming,” says Trevor. “Package holidays were bringing foreign holidays within easy reach and more people were experiencing outdoor dining.

“What they did abroad they wanted to do here. People wanted to extend the summer season into the autumn and spring. Our commercial grade awnings and some heaters were ideal for the purpose.

“Under my ownership, business growth was very strong. We had a headquarters at Bromborough and we were doing very nicely.

“We employed a staff of 13 at our head office as well as 16 self-employed sales surveyors all across the UK.”

Indigo Awnings was heavily involved with the pub, restaurant and hotel sectors and Trevor quickly identified awnings and umbrellas ideal for them to add some outdoor space.

“We installed parasols at a Newcastle hotel and despite the wintry weather in the north east, they're used all the year round,” he said. “It shows the quality of our awnings.

“And we managed to negotiate some quite weighty contracts with a series of hotel and pub chains as the smoking ban loomed.”

But then came the recession with the leisure sector particularly hard hit.

“It was as if the taps had been turned off,” said Trevor. “As the recession worsened I knew I had to do something to save my business and I was forced to take some very unpalateable decisions.”

Among them was the closure of the Bromborough HQ five years ago and a move to Trevor's barn property on the outskirts of Mold.

“We took every overhead out we could to help the company survive,” says Trevor.

"But now we're seeing signs of recovery and we want to grow the business.”

Indigo now has four full-time staff – including Trevor – five self-employed fitting teams, and six self-employed surveyors.

It operates from a small office on the Bromfield Industrial Estate in Mold and from Trevor's home base just outside the county town.

And it now imports its awnings from a German manufacturer. “Why? They're simply the best,” says Trevor. “You can't improve on perfection.”
Now what he hopes for is a purpose-built headquarters at his home on Bryn Road in Gwernaffield.
“We're a very slick operation with some very high profile clients,” says Trevor. “We need somewhere to show them what we have on offer.

“We've looked everywhere else in Flintshire, but there's not another suitable site. We want to stay in the county and create new jobs here in Mold.”