Saturday, March 2, 2024

EliteForm Castlebellingham celebrate half a century in business

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EliteForm manufacturing in Castlebellingham celebrated 50 years in business last week with the Whyte family joined by employees past and present to mark the occasion.

The company started off making small trailers for cars in the garage of Georgina and Victor Whyte. In 1974 the first workshop was constructed at the back of the house.

The new workshop allowed Victor to start building larger grain and silage trailers for tractors, and to repair farm machinery.

In the early 1980s Victor went to a local hardware store to get gutters for the shed.

He saw the range of products available and thought about how he could improve the design. He spent the next decade building and refining machines and processes to manufacture gutters for farm buildings.

In 1990 the last trailer ever made by the company rolled off the workshop floor. By now, the company had built a strong customer base in the farm building sector.

Victor would fabricate products with 4 or 5 staff and Georgina would deliver them in a car trailer.

In the mid-90s, Victor innovatively designed gutters to match the standard shed bay length, optimising material usage. After meticulous development of a roll forming machine, he established a new industry standard, adopted by over 90% of the farm building construction sector.

Their daughter Sandra joined the company in 1995, and together with Georgina, they reached out to every shed erector in Ireland, leading to a surge in orders. The company expanded its facilities to meet the growing demand.

Martin O’Hare joined the company as a foreman in 1997. Martin had a degree in construction and engineering. This brought the company to a new level, and we began growing steadily to about 50 staff.

By 2002 a new two storey office building and large new shed were constructed.

Sandra became Managing Director in 2006 as Georgina and Victor began their transition into retirement.

2007 was a peak year in performance for the company.

They employed 95 people at the time and were attracting contracts such as the Aviva Stadium, Google building and many more high profile projects.

In 2008 they began development of EliteFence, a colour coated steel fencing range.
EliteFence began to take off in 2014.

In response, they began to expand their fencing department with new product ranges.

EliteForm now manufactures multiple ranges of fencing and garden products, Including SmartFence for hardware stores nationwide.

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