A HISTORIC family steel firm is providing a behind-the-scenes glimpse of its hugely-successful operation.

John W Laycock Ltd is opening the doors of its Stockbridge premises next Thursday (Mar 21) for an event being held in conjunction with the Family Business Network.

The company’s managing director, Mark Sugden, will outline the history of the business – whose roots can be traced back to the 1740s – and his own path into the firm.

There will also be a factory tour, question-and-answer session and lunch.

“John W Laycock Ltd is proud to be one of the longest-established family firms in Keighley and among the oldest steel service providers registered with the National Association of Steel Service Centres,” said Sue Howorth, founder of the Family Business Network.

“Mark will share the compelling history of the business and how he has achieved sustainable growth whilst building on traditional family values – and how establishing new initiatives has ensured the long-term prosperity of the company.

“It’s very rare to come across businesses of this age that have transitioned through so many generations.

“We look forward to hearing about how John W Laycock has stood the test of time and how the Sugden family has successfully navigated the range of challenges that many family businesses face.”

Laycock’s origins date from 1746, when there is evidence of the family making nails in Keighley.

It broadened its offering to ironmongery and the firm was established as a limited business in 1810, with a vision to “supply mill furnishings, iron, steel and other branches of trade”.

In the late 19th century the company, which now had seven members of staff, relocated from Low Street to a site in North Street.

Further expansion followed during the 1900s. A new warehouse was opened at Stockbridge in 1979, and it was extended twice over the next two decades.

With growth continuing into the current century, the firm vacated its North Street premises in 2011 and the whole operation was moved to the Stockbridge site.

The Family Business Network – launched in 2014 – originated in Cumbria but now also covers Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Lancashire. For more details about the group and the event, visit fambiznet.co.uk.