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Thursday, 17 April 2014

North Cumbrian stone firm's 15-year deal with Story Homes

A small firm has a secure future and is creating new jobs thanks to a new deal with a major property developer.

Stonemason photo
Stonemason Dan Watson

Natural Stone Direct Cumbria, based at Boothby Stone Yard, near Lanercost, has signed a 15-year contract with Story Homes.

It will provide sandstone for houses being built at Crindledyke, just outside Carlisle, and other developments around Cumbria.

Joe Jamieson, the joint owner of the stone company, was ecstatic about the news.

He said: “It is fantastic. For this climate it is absolutely brilliant.”

He started the firm in 2003 with his business partner Martin Armstrong.

It produces stone for commercial and residential property for “everything from birdbaths to churches”.

The company also supplies different kinds of stone.

In the Story Homes contract it will supply sandstone for various features on the houses.

Mr Jamieson did not give details about the value of the deal but said the company has already hired one more worker as a result. Another is due to start in the near future.

This will take the total number of staff at the firm to nine.

Mr Jamieson said it was a great reversal for the company. “When the recession came we went down a little bit,” he said.

The firm has also bought a £100,000 saw which it will use to cut the rocks. Mr Jamieson described this as a “primary” cutting device.

He also said the stone being supplied would be aged before being passed on.

The company has dealt with Story Homes in the past, and supplied stones for the house of its owner, Fred Story, but never on this scale.

Mr Jamieson added: “It will push the company forward.

“We are prepared to work 24/7 to get the job done. We won’t let the man down.”

Mr Story said: ‘We are delighted with the quality, niche product that Natural Stone Direct will be supplying to Story Homes. The sandstone will be used on our new Crindledyke site in Carlisle and Clifton Hill Gardens, a development close to Penrith.

“We also plan to use it on future sites at Blackwell and Scotby.”

He added: “All these sites have attractive exteriors and the sandstone chosen will blend well into these areas. This contract is excellent news for Joe and his staff yet this is potentially just the tip of the iceberg for local suppliers as we continue to expand throughout Cumbria, south Scotland and the north east.”

Mr Story also said the company had ambitious plans for growth over the next five years which would create jobs, homes and improvements to infrastructure.

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