Estimable construction equipment supplier, Shellplant, has reached a significant milestone, celebrating 50 years of trading this year.

The Northamptonshire-based company, owned and managed by John Fensome and Julian Payne, was established by John in August 1972. It has grown from modest beginnings into one of the country’s most successful suppliers of new and used construction machinery, marketing such noted brands as Kubota, Bomag, Thwaites, Merlo and Stihl .

“We still have a record of our first ever construction transaction; it was a Winget mixer,” says John Fensome. “The journey from that day to now hasn’t been without its challenges. The industry has changed dramatically, so we too have had to adapt over the years, but our forward-thinking approach and ability to be flexible, has made us even stronger. We’re delighted to be celebrating 50 years of Shellplant.”

“The advancement of technology across the industry during the last 50 years has been vast," continues Julian. "The industry has become more innovative than ever before, which makes it an exciting environment to work in. Alongside this, the international demand for construction equipment from the UK has also grown. These changes have seen our portfolio evolve to meet our customers’ needs over this time, which is a vital requirement for any business looking for longevity. That said, loyalty is one of our core values, and we still work with some of the original manufacturers we represented from the outset, Winget being a great example.

“Many successful partnerships have come and gone during the last 50 years, but a big turning point for us was partnering with Kubota in 1997. Mini-excavators were beginning to gain in popularity here in the UK, and so we originally agreed a sales target of 30 units a year. Some 25 years on and we now surpass 500 units annually.”

Shellplant has decided to mark its milestone year with a donation to charity, choosing the local Riding for Disabled Group based in Mears Ashby. Their vision is to enrich the lives of disabled people through horses, and to support an extra 10,000 people by 2025.