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Company relocation is ‘a dream come true’ for former director

Current Chairman of J A Harrison Alan Shepherd has expressed his pride at seeing the Manchester business his uncle bought in 1934 brought home to Oldham after 83 years.

Alan, who began working for J A Harrison in 1952 and oversaw its last big move to Sherborne St., Manchester in 1966, delighted in relaying how the company’s new facility now stands where three generations of his family have grown up.

Sitting in plush new offices at our new £2.8M hi-tech facility on the Greengate Industrial Estate in Middleton, he told staff: “I’m so proud that we are here. And I’m proud of the way we got here. It is nice to come back home.

“As a child of nine-years-old I used to play in the field where this building now stands. To come here today, a short drive from my home, is a dream come true.”

Alan, 81, explained: “We’ve put so much into the business over the years and Oldham has changed dramatically in the time we’ve been building this business.

“Eighty years ago there were cotton mills as far as the eye can see from these windows. Today we’re at the heart of a busy industrial estate surrounded by a diverse range of thriving businesses.

“I owe deep thanks to my sons Keith and Martin, and daughter Elaine for making this move possible for the company. They’ve worked tirelessly to make it happen and it’s made me very happy.”

Now run by Alan’s family, it is also hoped J A Harrison’s move to Oldham can contribute to the revival of the industrial town. The move has created 15 new jobs and is expected to create 25 more over the next five years, while apprentices are also taken on from the local area.

Alan added: “Oldham is desperate to get itself back on the map. There is a lot of regeneration going on. But it’s only by companies moving back that the town will bring people into the area to live, work and shop, whether that is in local supermarkets and shopping centres, petrol stations or restaurants.

“We’re glad to be part of that initiative.”