Robert Bion Manners – T Manners and Sons
Robert Bion Manners returned to the local area where his family business established in 1860 was based in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, having completed his degree in civil engineering in the 1970’s and was asked as a result of his father’s ill-health Robert joined the business. Robert brought a modern dynamic approach to the business at this time, he settled with his then wife and had 3 children, two of his sons are now part of the business and his daughter a trading partner with her own firm. Simon his middle son is the current Managing Director with Robert’s mentorship as the Finance Director and proprietor, bringing over 40 year’s service to T. Manners so far.
Through the 1980s and 1990s he saw the company develop close links with the Local Authorities, the NHS and schools across the region. The early years of the new century brought further growth and in 2005, Robert led the expansion and development of the business relocating from their original Victorian premises in Peel Street to new modern offices and workshops on South Church Enterprise Park. Through challenging times, recession and significant legislative changes which created greater complexity to survive competitively as a small business come SME, Robert has supported the survival of the Northeast’s Oldest family run construction business still in existence and with the same bloodline with his son Simon working there now.
Through developing the business model to build its reputation and portfolio with key clients within heritage, healthcare, emergency services Robert has been able to build on T. Manners brand as a family business and grow organically beyond Bishop Auckland within the Northeast England, with Specialist Joinery being renowned and supporting contracts nationally. Over the years the projects have provided him with opportunity with politicians to royalty. This has also a ripple effect through the longstanding staff who joined at a similar time to Robert and who are still with the business today, supporting those employees and their families often providing great career opportunities and promoting internally.
An avid spokesman, lively and innovative Robert likes to see action and get involved across all aspects of the business to ensure delivery and survival. He is admired by staff for his presence and knowing everyone’s names and personal circumstances. Robert has also been actively involved in annual rotatory cycling events and golfing charity support, raising hundreds of thousands.
Robert has been keen to ensure the smooth transition into its fifth generation by supporting business planning and training as those retire and to ensure that his sons, the business and its employees have the continued success.
Creating an open culture driven through accountability. Charity work and commitments are engrained in the business activity. Many of the senior staff are a result of Robert’s mentoring them from grass roots.
He truly deserves this award for his dynamic approach and nurturing approach.