This year has again presented all businesses with a unique set of challenges. The pandemic meant disruption and uncertainty, yet many businesses were able to build on the positives and enjoy a positive 12 months.
At AB Glass, despite the uncertainty, we enjoyed a steep increase in demand for our services. Here, we take a look back at some of the highlights of 2021 – a landmark year in which we also celebrated our 30th year in business.
To start with that milestone, we originally planned a physical celebration in the form of a summer barbeque. Instead, due to COVID and our awareness of the many challenges charities have faced in the past 18 months, we decided to donate what would have been spent on a party to a number of military charities.
This reflected our wider commitment to several military charities and organisations. Also in 2021, we continued our support of the Welsh Veterans Awards, an initiative that recognises the achievements of veterans in business, fitness, sport and the wider community. AB Glass sponsored the Employer of the Year Award while our founder, Alan Brayley, also served on the judging panel.
In addition, this year, we were presented with a certificate of appreciation from The Royal Welsh regiment for our sponsorship of its regimental diary. The notebooks are sold to the business community as well as the general public, with all profits donated to The Royal Welsh Regimental Welfare and Benevolence Foundation, a fantastic cause.
2021 also signified a memorable year for our founder Alan Brayley, who was appointed Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Glamorgan. Alan was honoured to accept the appointment, supporting Louise Fleet, JP, HM Lord Lieutenant of West Glamorgan. More on this can be found here.
Alan was also appointed as High Sheriff in nomination for the county of West Glamorgan for the year 2024. This is a longstanding and prestigious title is instilled with tradition and one that Alan is extremely honoured and proud to receive.
The business, meanwhile, enjoyed growth and expansion in a number of areas. We made a six-figure investment in building a new 3,000 sq ft storage unit, that released 35% more floor space in our production unit. The construction of a state-of-the-art five-bay storage unit was important for us to cope with the increase in demand we have experienced this year.
In addition to our architectural aluminium services, our access control offering also experienced a surge in demand as workplaces adjusted to post-pandemic safety recommendations and staff returned to work.
We also cemented a number of key partnerships in 2021. We became a part of the association Manufacturing Wales, a new voice representing the vision and ambitions of manufacturers across Wales.
The association was conceived as a collaborative consortium created specifically to help meet the complex needs of Welsh-based manufacturers, raising the credibility of Welsh brands, maximising supply chain opportunities and building-in resilience for member organisations.
We also became a bronze associate supporter of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE). The DofE Award aims to help create more positive experiences for young people in Wales.
As a bronze partner of the DofE in Wales we hope to aid in the transformational changes for young people helping them gain the work-ready skills and attributes, including communication, teamwork and leadership they need to stand out and succeed. In September, we were presented with the certificate by Wales rugby legend, Alun Wyn Jones.
HMS Cambria, Cardiff Bay
This project was a real honour and privilege to be a part of due to our connection to the military community. HMS Cambria, located in Cardiff Bay, is now Wales’s largest military facility and has been described as a ‘crown jewel’ in the defence estate. We worked alongside contractor Morgan Sindall and were responsible for installing windows, heavy-duty doors and curtain walling.
You can read all about the project here.
St Sidwell’s Point, Exeter
The first of its kind in the UK, this Passivhaus leisure centre was a sustainability focused project with strict requirements in order to reach the optimum level of thermal performance for the structure. It was finally completed and opened in 2021 and we were proud to have played a key part.
Passivhaus specifications mean that the sustainable design saves up to 70% on energy costs when compared to a current good practice pool, a 50% reduction in water use, outstanding internal water and air quality, excellent daylight levels and lower maintenance costs due to a high-quality building fabric.
In the future, we hope to be involved with more projects like this one that have sustainability at their core. We have learned a lot through this project and now have the expertise to help more clients in the future. Full details and specification of this project can be found here.
Some key changes
Probably the biggest landmark for AB Glass this year was a change of leadership at the top of the business. Representing the start of a new era for the business, Alan Brayley, founder and managing director, will take a step back and become chairman. Nigel Harvey, our operations director, will take the reins, taking responsibility for all aspects of the day-to-day running of the business. You can read full details of that here.
Commenting on the year as a whole, Alan said: “2021 has been a memorable year for us. We have seen continued adjustment to working practices, celebrated a milestone anniversary and have been a part of many innovative projects that we are extremely proud of. We are going into 2022 with the same determination for growth and expansion in mind.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our valued customers, suppliers and members of staff for all of their support throughout this year. We wish you all a safe and wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year, and we look forward to working with you in 2022.
“Finally, we are ending one year but also embarking on a new era in 2022. I am delighted to hand the reins of the business to my long-term colleague Nigel. I look forward to supporting him in every way I can and seeing him take the business to another level in the future, working closely with the fantastic team we have here at AB Glass.”