The official opening of MKM Barnsley marks the start of what has been a three-year journey for Co-Branch Directors Mark Winstanley and John Lea. It all started by identifying the right location for a new builders’ merchant in the area, with the duo selecting the Peel Trade Park in the town centre as the ideal location.
Over the last three years they have overseen the site being transformed from overgrown wasteland into the new state-of-the-art facility that it is today.
It’s a journey that both men are extremely proud of, but it wasn’t the beginning of their experiences together, and it certainly won’t be the end as they strive to become the best builder’s merchant in the area.
The pair have developed an incredible relationship over the last three decades, with extensive local knowledge of the building trade in Barnsley and the wider area through years of industry experience.
For Mark, it started 37 years ago at grass roots level on a YTS apprenticeship scheme for a large local independent builder’s merchant in the town. Over the coming years, he progressed from apprentice to Inwards Goods Clerk, then into pricing and heavyside sales before eventually becoming Heavyside/Lightside Sales Manager. Following an acquisition by one of the nationals, Mark went onto become the Assistant Branch Manager at the same branch that he had joined from school.
Mark’s leadership skills were quickly recognised and he was finally promoted to Branch Manager in December 2009, a position that he held for the next 11 years, where he picked up numerous company and industry awards for his service excellence and branch operations.
For John, it was more like he landed on his feet in the merchant sector. Having left school in 1980, he dreamt of going into the RAF. However, in the midst of the Falklands war and with the UK in the middle of a recession, he needed to find work. Many of his friends were working down the mines, but by chance, an opportunity presented itself in a local independent merchant in Barnsley and he grasped it with both hands.
This started John’s love affair with the building and construction industry and more than forty years on, the rest, as they say, is history!
John quickly excelled in the sector, demonstrating his ability and developing an excellent customer base which meant he was fast tracked to office manager. From there, he relocated to York to help transform a struggling branch and quickly transformed it into a profitable business, before taking the role of Regional Manager, looking over five branches. Following a national acquisition, John progressed to the role of Regional Director, responsible for multiple branches across the North & North East.
Today, both Mark and John are determined to use their personal and working relationship and the fantastic experience they have developed to make their mark with MKM Barnsley, an exciting opportunity to bring a merchant offering to the people of Barnsley that they wouldn’t have experienced before.
So, 2021 marks the start of the duo’s next chapter together as co-branch directors. Conveniently located on a 2-acre site on the Peel Trade Park, MKM Barnsley has created 16 new jobs in the area and is the company’s 85th new branch opening across the UK.
This state-of-the-art facility provides a one-stop-shop for all building products, including heavyside, plumbing & heating, landscaping, roofing, electrical, drainage and civils, insulation and plaster board, workwear and timber, sheet and joinery.
In addition, the branch also features a stunning kitchen, bathroom and flooring showroom, offering a range of traditional and contemporary solutions to suit all styles and tastes.
When they are not behind the trade counter, both Mark and John can usually be found either entertaining their families or watching their beloved sports. Mark’s a keen Liverpool FC supporter and a former season ticket holder on the Kop for over a decade throughout the 90’s. He’s also a passionate boxing fan and has also been a national match fisherman. He’s married and has three daughters, aged 21, 18 and 16.
John loves most spectator sports, particularly football, as well as enjoying travel exploring the Greek Islands with his family.
For more information, visit https://www.mkmbs.co.uk/branch/barnsley