A bumper year at one of Rossendale’s largest businesses, J and J Ormerod Plc, has led to employees receiving a tax-free bonus in their March pay packet.

Last year, ownership of kitchen, bedroom and bathroom manufacturer was transferred to an Employee Ownership Trust.

At the time, the company’s employees, some 340, were informed that meant they now had a vested interest in the future increased profitability of the firm.

A year on, and Managing Director Stephen Greenhalgh said:

“I am delighted to announce that JJO’s turnover has been higher for the last year than our figures pre-Covid.

“As a result, we have been able to share that success with employees who have been with JJO for more than 12 months and without whom we could not have achieved the turnover.

“Employees who have more than 20 years’ service, and there are a lot at JJO, received the largest bonus.”

Denis Trough, who works in customer service, started work with JJO in 1982, while Dave Ashworth, who works as a warehouse operative, started in 1979, when Gary Numan’s Our Friends Electric was topping the charts.

Dave said:

“I am going to use my bonus to go and see the Rolling Stones in concert in Hyde Park. I have seen them many times before, firstly in 1982, just three years after I started at JJO.”

When Denis found out his bonus was more than £1,000, it came as a shock, but in a very nice way.

Denis, who has three teenage children and an older daughter, said:

“I will be treating my family.”

The company was founded more than 150 years ago and has a main manufacturing base in Bacup, Rossendale Interiors in Stacksteads, a bathroom manufacturing base at Victoria Works in Cloughfold and nearby Marshall House, a purpose-built trade showroom which opened last year.

Stephen said:

“The amount of bonus paid to employees is based on the performance of the business in its financial year, which runs from March 1 to February 28.

“We were incredibly busy from September to November, in fact we were struggling to recruit and part of our message to anyone looking for work is that at JJO you get offered a package, so not only do you get a share of profits after the first year in employment, but we also offer free critical care insurance.

“The business performed extremely well during Covid, maybe as a result of people not having holidays and choosing instead to carry out home improvements, but that has also carried on.”

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