Shackleton Wintle and Lane Ltd

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Shackleton Wintle and Lane Ltd is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Chief Executive John Rogers
A proud history of reliable
service for over four decades
Founded in 1978, Shackleton Wintle & Lane (SW&L Ltd) is
one of the largest and most respected plumbing and heating
businesses in the southwest of England. The company
has more than 100 direct employees and supports a further
50 subcontractors across Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and
Monmouthshire. With the company holding seven accreditations
as a testament to its professionalism and established nature,
Managing Director Simon Marklew explains more.
In 2018, Shackleton & Wintle Ltd delivered its strategy for rapid growth by taking
the bold decision to review our proposition to the market and include an electrical
division. We had identified the perfect business to deliver our ambition of widening
our offer to a fully integrated service with a complete mechanical and electrical
package. WJL Electrical was one of Cheltenham’s up-and-coming businesses in the
area, with excellent reputation and values that were shared by both businesses. In
2018 the joint company was reborn and became SW&L Ltd.
Together the combined business has been able to meet and exceed the diverse
needs of its varied customer base, including national housebuilders, housing
associations, multiple property landlords and individual homeowners. SW&L trades
across all parts of the industry, with the installation of plumbing, heating, electrical
and renewable energy products.
Our installation of plumbing, heating and drainage into new properties built
by national developers totals approximately 1,250 units per year. Our flexibility,
reliability and ability to work with other trades ensure that sites are delivered on
time and within safe working practices. We offer a full design package for tailored
plumbing, heating and electrical installations to all sectors.
»Chief Executive: John Rogers
»Managing Director:
Simon Marklew
»Established in 1978
»Based in Cheltenham
»Services: Plumbing, heating
and electrical services
»No. of employees:
More than 100
»Proud sponsors of Cheltenham
Town FC
Shackleton Wintle
&Lane Ltd
Highlighting best practice
Working across the Cotswolds and
Gloucestershire, we meet the particular
complex and individual needs of
small, traditional developers as well
as carrying out the refurbishment
of private homes. We also work in
partnership with the estates of stately
homes and some properties dating
back to the 16th century. We also offer
maintenance and aftercare services
covering housing associations, private
landlords and letting agencies.
The values at our core
Our company thrives on team-based
culture, and as a business we are next-
generation ready. Our core values are
built around the following principles.
»Teamwork: An inclusive environment
where specialists working in tandem
deliver a common goal.
»Ambition: Creating and sharing the
vision and direction for the business.
»Commitment: Retaining and building
on our integrity to become a trusted
partner for our customers.
»Customers: A commitment to deliver
service and value which is always
best in class.
»Respect: Recognising and valuing the
diversity across our team.
»Integrity: Upholding our values
consistently and without compromise.
Recent growth
Our growth year on year reached 24
per cent from 2018 to 2019. This
was delivered through individual
sectors such as new build. This market
sector has been very positive for
the company, with the demand for
new-build completions unexpectedly
exceeding all expectations. Additional
business has been awarded to SW&L
predominantly as a result of our
service and the quality of work we
offer. Additional organic growth has
come from our bespoke and electrical
departments during this period.
Following the merging of our
plumbing/heating business with our
electrical division, our business has
not looked back. The integration
of these businesses has delivered
excellent benefits to our customers
and efficiencies within our group.
Consequently, we have delivered
our growth ambition solely from the
strength of our existing customer
partnerships. This in turn forms a
robust foundation for future growth
across the wider market.
An unprecedented year
Like virtually all businesses in the
UK, 2020 was affected by the sharp
downturn in economic activity caused
by the Covid-19 pandemic. Our
immediate response was to empower
and equip our in-house health and
safety officer to ensure the safe
working of staff and subcontractors on
site. Like many businesses, we could
not avoid redundancies. However, by
working compliantly in accordance
with government direction, we could
offer our services to both national and
regional housebuilders to complete
sites which had been left unfinished
by other contractors. We welcomed
this, as the build programmes have
been buoyant and the reduction in
stamp duty has assisted sales growth,
which in turn has assisted with
Working with the
installation of plumbing,
heating, electrical and
renewable energyproducts
Able to meet
and exceed the
diverse needs
of its varied
customer base
Managing Director
Simon Marklew
maintaining continuous construction
on all sites. As well as consolidating
our excellent reputation, this allowed
a return to pre-Covid levels of turnover
within ten weeks of lockdown and a
return to year-on-year growth within
We undertake individual large-scale
projects, predominantly national new-
build homes. These may range from
£350,000 up to £1.4m in value to
our business. We carry out bespoke
design as well as installation of large
mechanical, electrical and renewable
energy systems for individual
properties. We recently successfully
delivered our M&E package on a
commissioned £20m property within
our local area.
Labour is our biggest challenge and it
continues to test us. We successfully
partner with GLOSCOL as a big
promoter of the apprentice schemes in
the local area, and we currently employ
21 apprentices. We look forward to
employing a further ten during the
course of 2021. However, the challenge
we face involves making apprenticeships
within the building industry attractive to
younger generations. Despite progress,
negative perceptions around the image
of apprenticeships remain stubbornly
difficult to change. Further work is
needed across the industry to ensure
that apprenticeships deliver relevant
and transferable skills.
The closing of the Feed-in Tariffs
scheme in March 2019 has
significantly reduced the incentive for
microgeneration. As expected, this in
turn has adversely affected growth
in the market for manufacture and
installation of photovoltaic products.
The impact on wider environmental
ambitions and commitments cannot
be overlooked. Many think it will
set the UK’s transition to renewable
power back and the decision was
met by widespread criticism from the
renewables sector. The closing of the
FiT scheme has also exacerbated skills
shortages within the renewable sector.
According to the Global Energy Talent
Index from 2017, 80 per cent of hiring
managers highlight skills shortages
as a key challenge in the renewable
What we look for in the future
We look forward to an end to the
market uncertainty and loss of
confidence that has resulted from
Brexit. Key parts of our supply chain
involve products imported from the
EU, and our business needs a greater
degree of certainty around movement
of goods and exchange rates. With
the government having dropped
its national target of three million
apprenticeships, we would also like
to see a renewed commitment to the
retention of quality apprenticeship
schemes. This should be alongside
incentives targeted within key industries
to avoid future skillsshortages.
In uncertain economic times, the
retention of the government’s Help
to Buy scheme will continue to
reinvigorate the market for new homes
in the UK. The trickle-down effect of a
strong market for new and affordable
housing will serve to consolidate and
strengthen our market, and support
our business for years to come.
Creating and
sharing the
vision and
direction for
the business
Leading the way in the
design and installation of
renewable energysystems
Working with
innovative solutions
to deliver a full
design package

This article was sponsored by Shackleton Wintle and Lane Ltd. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy