Future looks bright for Halifax electrical testing firm

Brian and Vicky Nolan (centre), owners of Circuit Electrical Testing, with their 'Supply Chain' Small Award alongside (left) Ricky McFarland from award sponsor Mercedes Benz Vans and TV personality Sue Perkins, who hosted the Small Awards.
Brian and Vicky Nolan (centre), owners of Circuit Electrical Testing, with their 'Supply Chain' Small Award alongside (left) Ricky McFarland from award sponsor Mercedes Benz Vans and TV personality Sue Perkins, who hosted the Small Awards.

The future looks bright for a Halifax-based electrical testing firm after they were named as the UK’s best small business-to-business company.

Circuit Electrical Testing won the accolade in the supply chain category at the inaugural Small Awards, which recognise the achievements of small and micro businesses.

The company, which provides PAT testing, fixed wire testing and emergency light testing, is run by Halifax-born husband and wife team Brian and Vicky Nolan, and was set-up by Brian in 2007.

Vicky, who is the business’ development manager, said: “Brian always said in the early days ‘we’re going to be turning over this much or that much’ and I’d say ‘yeah, OK, whatever’.

“But a lot of hard work has gone into it and we’ve got a brilliant team in Halifax.

“We have 36 staff, 12 staff at head office and then engineers across the country.

“Having a strong head office is important and getting the right staff in.

“It’s also important getting the right accreditations so we can work for the organisations we do.

“We work for 90 per cent of councils in Wales and their programme of work runs throughout the year.

“We also work for 40 colleges and universities so they keep us busy.

“We won the contract for Greater Manchester Police in 2013, and that was a big landmark for us.

“That catapulted us into a different category, and we weren’t seen as a small business anymore.

“We want to go up to 45 staff soon. We’ve launched a major recruitment drive because we’ve recently won a contract with Derbyshire County Council to pat test at 650 sites.

“We’ve grown year-on-year but the last 12 months has been substantial and it can be hard keeping up with the pace.

“We’d like to reach 50 staff over the next two or three years and be comfortable with our workload.

The firm, which is based at Croft Myl, has around 900 clients and has also diversified into thermal imaging and hazardous area testing.

“It was a shock to win the award,” Vicki added. “We weren’t expecting it because we entered into two categories and didn’t get nominated for the other award.

“It’s nice to be recognised because it is hard work. It can be difficult recruiting staff.

“A lot of companies in the industry sub-contract their work but we do it all ourselves. But that means you need to get the right people in the right areas, which can be a battle. That’s the hardest part of the job.”