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12th January 2018
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Armitage Shanks closes bicentenary celebrations with gala evening
One of Britain's oldest businesses, Armitage Shanks, has culminated its bicentenary celebrations with a gala evening, which included rewards for colleagues as well as celebrity performances.
Patrick Kielty presided at the event, which featured performances from Britain's Got Talent finalists Escala, magician David Penn and a grand finale show from pop star Beverley Knight. Poet Laureate for Birmingham, Matt Windle, was on hand to read a specially commissioned poem on the history of Armitage Shanks and its local significance.
One hundred colleagues were honoured for their service and dedication to the business throughout the evening.
The event also celebrated the business' continual focus on innovation. Since its inception in 1817, Armitage Shanks has placed product development at the heart of what it does. In recent years, it has heavily invested in new machinery to ensure its high quality, traditional craftsmanship can be combined with the latest in factory technology in order to bring the best possible products to market at an affordable price.
2017 saw the brand launch its pioneering healthcare range, Markwik21+ and Contour21+, which works to minimise the spread of bacteria in hospitals. It is innovations such as these which keep Armitage Shanks at the cutting edge of its sector, all while being the last remaining British bathroom manufacturer.
The Big Birthday Bash was the final celebration of the brand's 200th year in business and took place at Birmingham Town Hall in front of colleagues and suppliers. Armitage Shanks has continually celebrated its bicentenary throughout 2016 and 2017, using its birthday year as an opportunity to raise over £200,000 for its charity partners, Bowel and Cancer Research, as well as other projects local to its factory sites.
Armitage Shanks has also collaborated with music production collaborative, DJ Molecules, to launch a free-to-download smartphone app, Beats200, which allowed budding musicians to mix their own tracks using plumbing and bathroom sounds.
Users of the app were invited to publish their tracks and the ten most popular will be compiled as a limited edition celebratory vinyl album. Alongside this, the celebration campaign included a fun weekly plumbing quiz for plumbers online, which generated enormous interest from tradespersons.
Torsten Tuerling, CEO of Ideal Standard International, said at the event: "Armitage Shanks has fantastic foundations in the bathroom sector thanks to its 200 years of experience, alongside 150 years more across Europe through its parent company Ideal Standard.
"However, the business has never been one to focus on the past and has no intention to rest on its laurels. This bicentenary is just the start and Armitage Shanks will continue to creative hardworking and effective products that utilise the best design solutions in order to deliver elegant and attractive designs.
"Our customers expect to find answers to ever more complex challenges and as an industry leader its' our job to use our expertise to continue to drive innovation that solves our customer problems, whatever they may be. This approach, combined with passion and dedication, will build a solid future for Armitage Shanks as it moves into its third century in business."
Stephen Ewer, Managing Director of Ideal Standard UK Cluster, added: "I'm immensely proud to be leading a British business through its bicentenary and this event was a fantastic way in which to celebrate all that it and its employees have achieved.
"Armitage Shanks has driven the sector forwards throughout its history, but even more importantly will continue to do so as it approaches its next 200 years.
"I look forward to working alongside the business' dedicated team to deliver the best possible solutions for our customers. Our anniversary has shown just how much we need to be proud of and just how much this Great British brand is capable of achieving."
To view a video of the highlights of the event, see:
8th December 2017