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Carpenter Carves Out a Multi-Million Pound SME Success Story

A carpenter who started his business as a one man band post-recession is now at the helm of a £5 million turnover firm, and is set to move to larger premises.

Martin Jenkins, a carpenter with a long career in the construction industry, decided to branch out on his own and established Hazelwood Carpentry Contractors Ltd in 2010.

Martin started his business in one of the smallest units at the Treforest Business Development Centre, in Pontypridd. With the continued assistance of Business in Focus, the specialist business support organisation for enterprise in South Wales, the developing business rented more space as it grew within the building, and Martin and his staff of 20 are now set to relocate to even larger premises nearby to accommodate the business as it grows even bigger.

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Martin said: “I am very proud of the growth of Hazelwood Carpentry Contractors Ltd and pleased to be in a position to provide employment for 20 permanent staff as well as work for around 60 subcontractors.

“I feel very strongly that there are great opportunities out there for fledgling businesses who are willing to put in the work and to offer a quality service, and the success of Hazelwood Carpentry Contractors Ltd is testament to this. One of the reasons we have thrived, despite setting up during a fragile time for the Welsh and the UK economies, is that we started small, and grew in a controlled manner. For example, we rented a serviced office at the Business in Focus site at Treforest, which came with no administration fees, a one month’s rent deposit and just one month’s notice required.

“Mine was the smallest space there at the time but it suited my business well and I was given a great deal of support from my Business Adviser at Business in Focus to assist in growing the business, particularly in obtaining valuable business grants and giving me access to great HR support. Hazelwood would not be here today without the support we received from Business in Focus.

Because the terms were flexible I had the peace of mind that I wasn’t taking unnecessary risks. After the first year I was able to expand the business and it has been on a steady upward trajectory since then.”


As contract carpenters, Hazelwood carries out work for a range of main contract companies – working on schools and universities, student accommodation, hospitals and healthcare facilities. Martin believes these are good times to set up in business, with the right support.

“There is a lot of work to be had and it is important that we spend more time talking up our economy and its opportunities, rather than focus on the negatives or being pessimistic. There are opportunities out there – you need to get out and take advantage of them.”