Since being founded in 1964, Aston Group has weathered many challenges. Despite three recessions, strikes that cut off power and a pandemic, we have continued to impress our clients with our dedication to quality and commitment to innovation.
In 2024, we will mark an impressive 60 years in business. This is a huge achievement and a testament to our steady growth, which has been funded by us alone.
From central heating to sustainability
Looking back at where we began, it’s clear that our ability to adapt to an ever-changing market and developing clients needs have been central to our success.
Aston Heating emerged from a London that was often beset by smog, led by founders who wanted to bring professionalism into the new ‘Wild West’ of domestic central heating. Set up by Evan Ivey, his cousin Brian Durrant and their friend Frank Dalton, our company began its very earliest days with business conducted from the dining table of Evan’s home.
From this small start, they focused on building their knowledge and taking pride in doing jobs well. Carving a path in this relatively new field meant that they needed to keep their attention on development and innovation in order to grow. This proved to be a successful formula.
When our current chairman and Evan’s step-son, Mike Thomas, joined the business in 1978, the company went from strength to strength, becoming the fourth firm to be appointed to the CORGI registration scheme. They also took on more commercial work, signing contracts with the London Boroughs of Redbridge and Waltham Forest, who remain steadfast clients today.
This was followed by work with University College London, Kier London, other local authorities in London, and authorities in Essex and Hertfordshire.
Further success was brought by listening to clients’ needs, which went beyond heating services. This led to the expansion of our remit to include Building and facilities management, spurring the change of our trading name from Aston Heating to Aston Group as we successfully secured long-term frameworks with local authorities, universities and housing associations.
Today, under the guidance of Managing Director Alan Thomas, we are very much focused on providing high-quality multi-service frameworks and projects, in addition to supporting our clients’ sustainable aims.
By pre-emptively honing our expertise in developing technology such as air source heat pumps and solar panels, we have ensured we are ready for the future.
Nowhere is this more evident than at 47 Greenleaf Road in Waltham Forest. This award-winning retrofit project was one of the first of its kind to be carried out in a London borough and showcased many ways energy consumption can be conserved and renewable energy harnessed in a residential property.
Our growth has been underpinned by our core values: building trust, driving quality, having respect and delivering together.
“It’s in our DNA,” commented Managing Director Alan Thomas. “Doing a good job and getting satisfaction from the client and for ourselves. We take pride in what we do.”
From achieving 12 consecutive years of 100% gas compliance in more than 8,000 properties to creating additional financial benefits of over £1 million through solar panel maintenance, we are always focused on getting the very best for our clients.
This also feeds into our corporate social responsibility, which we take very seriously. From donating appliances to running activities in local schools, we actively participate in our community.
Staying on top of an ever-changing industry has fared us well over the last 60 years too. “Everyone at the top of the business is from industry,” explained Chairman Mike Thomas. “We’ve kept our nose to the focus on the industry and kept up with its changes.”
This has meant that homegrown talent has been nurtured, with apprentices working their way through the ranks to join our management team.
Now turning over £23 million per year, our business employs around 130 people in total. But at our heart we have kept the family connection with our roots, with Chairman Mike Thomas, his daughter Julie Dunn and fellow directors helping to lay the foundations for the next 60 years.
Looking to the future
Going forward, we are committed to supporting clients with their sustainability goals.
“We want to be at the forefront of renewable energy. It’s a fast-moving industry, but we are already doing so much to set the pace, from fitting and maintaining solar panels and insulation to installing air source heat pumps,” says Mike Thomas.
“Clients are starting to want to know more about sustainability,” adds Alan Thomas. “By increasing our knowledge we will ensure that when clients ask, we have the right answers.”
We’re setting the tone by practising what we preach. Twenty-five solar panels now help to power our headquarters while two electric charging points have been fitted to the car park. On our sites, 95% of waste is now recycled. And more plans are afoot in the months ahead.
“We are agile and adaptable,” maintains Alan Thomas. “We find solutions, and it is this that will carry us forward.”
To ensure we’re ready to meet the demands of the future, we have also invested substantially in new IT infrastructure and resources. Our bespoke centralised information management system allows us to track and manage all of our work programmes, from start to finish. This gives us, and our clients, complete transparency and even better control over complex contracts.
Time to celebrate
To mark this big occasion, we will be hosting a party for our fantastic clients later in the year. And in the summer, Mike Thomas will be opening up his garden for our incredible colleagues, who have helped to build Aston Group into the success it is today.
In the meantime, if you’d like to talk to us about your upcoming projects to find out how our expertise and experience can help your organisation, please get in touch.