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Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council alongside Chris Taylor, managing director of Taylorhood Metalworks

Taylorhood polishes off a decade in style

An architectural metalwork business favoured by countless celebrity A Listers is celebrating a hallmark tenth anniversary, after landing one of its biggest projects to date.

Washington-based Taylorhood Metalworks is an independent metalwork engineering business specialising in the production of hand-crafted bespoke staircases, architectural balustrades and feature metal work.

Founded in 2010, the company has grown rapidly over the past decade, employing 17 members of staff and working on some of the UK’s highest profile developments, from London’s 5-star Lanesborough Hotel to Winston Churchill’s War Office and Birmingham’s Resorts World.

However, despite its tenth anniversary celebrations grinding to a halt due to the pandemic – during which the company spent months without being able to access a single one of its sites – the company still has reason to cheer, after landing one of its largest projects to date.

Working alongside VINCI Construction, Taylorhood has landed a lucrative six-figure contract which will see its skilled crafters tailor bespoke staircases for the £3.1 billion Mandarin Oriental Hotel development, a historical 19th century hotel facing Knightsbridge and Hyde Park.  

Chris Taylor, co-founder and managing director of Taylorhood Metalworks, said: “We were quite worried when the pandemic hit as we had over £500,000 worth of projects ongoing at the time and had no idea if or when work would resume.

“Fortunately, due to the nature of our work, the products we produce are incredibly niche and as soon as lockdown measures were eased and it was safe for our staff to travel and visit construction sites, we were able to pick up where we left off and – fingers crossed - things look as though they’re now starting to get back on track.

“In fact, over the past nine weeks or so we’ve quoted for over £1 million worth of work and are confident of seeing the year out in a strong position.  Our staff have been fantastic during the period and – while we may not be able to have the huge party we’d hoped for to celebrate our tenth year in business – at least we know we’ve all played a part in getting through this crisis together.”

As well as proving a huge hit among its commercial clientele, Taylorhood has also forged a reputation for itself as a firm favourite among the stars, having completed bespoke projects for A List celebrities such as Alisha Dixon and Rupert Grint in recent years.

Chris added: “Aside from our bespoke staircases and balustrades, we also produce a wide range of artistic pieces that have proven incredibly popular over recent years, such as moon gates, vanity units, entrance funnels and decorative feature walls.

“Not only has this led to us working on countless celebrity homes but it has also seen us deliver bespoke projects for TV shows such as the BBC’s Paradise, which was filmed at Lambton Estate in Country Durham and ITV’s Manchester studios.”

Having mastered his craft as an apprentice himself, Chris has created numerous opportunities for apprentices in the past and is keen – if and once everything returns to normal – to recruit two further apprentices as the company plans for the future.

“Architectural metalwork is a real craft and apprenticeships are crucial to ensuring we have the workers required to keep the industry alive,” Chris said. “Over the past couple of years we’ve recruited two apprentices every year, however we’ve been unable to continue this with everything going on in recent months.

“However, should we start to see things return to some kind of normal next year, then this is definitely an avenue we’ll look to pursue once again as we plan for our next decade in business.”

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Achieving ten years in business is no small feat for any company and the resilience shown by Chris and the team to bounce back from the lockdown shows just how much determination and mettle they have.

“While they may not have been able to celebrate their tenth anniversary in the manner they’d have hoped, I’m sure they’ll still take great pride in the fact that they’ve reached a decade in business and – in the face of such economic hardship – have continued to go from strength-to-strength.”