Top Derbyshire SME was founded in a shed

Martin Poulter, left, and Adrian Fewings of Derbyshire Aggregates
Martin Poulter, left, and Adrian Fewings of Derbyshire Aggregates

A firm that was founded in a shed 30 years ago has grown to become the most profitable SME in North Derbyshire.

Derbyshire Aggregates supplies a huge range of material used in everything from roads to pebbledash and from garden rockery to coloured quartz.

Its climb to the top of the table comes after profits rose by £662,000 last year to hit £2.12m.

The firm, which employs 48 and turns over £14.1m, has fives sites and quarries around the country and is based in Youlgreave near Bakewell.

The two founding members, Martin Poulter and chairman Adrian Fewings, are still on the board.

They started out in a shed in Great Longstone before renting an office and acquiring a 15-acre mineral site.

Second in the North Derbyshire table is proudly British fashion house David Nieper. The firm, which is registered in Matlock, employs more than 230 people at a factory in Alfreton.

Only last month it put out a call for dressmakers and pattern cutters and other skilled people as 
part of a push for 40 new staff to meet record demand for its womenswear.

The company is also offering paid training for ‘returners to the industry’ to brush up on their skills, whilst also recruiting for part-time and term-time roles, for those with families or other commitments looking for flexible working.

Christopher Nieper, managing director of David Nieper, said: “It takes real skill and high levels of craftsmanship to make our fashion collections.

“Not only do we need to grow our workforce, and create more and more skilled jobs to meet growing demand for our womenswear, we’ve got to ensure that vital sewing and couture craftsmanship skills are passed on to the next generation. The clock is ticking, we need to harness the skills of experienced staff for the benefit of our trainees, and if we don’t act now these skills could be lost forever.”

The firm was established in 1961 by David Nieper who is still involved in the company day to day.

The latest accounts show it made £1.9m profit, up £662,000 on the year previous.

Another Derbyshire clothing company, John Smedley, is also celebrating after a visit from the Queen to mark its 230th year in business – and seventh place in the table of most profitable North Derbyshire SMEs.