Don't miss out on what's happening at Richard Burbidge, plus lots of guides and tips for successful home renovations.

Mike Ferguson celebrates over 40 years at Archwood

Mike Ferguson is Archwood’s longest serving employee, having worked at the company for over 40 years. Beginning his career as a General Operative in manufacturing, Mike worked his way up to his current role of Warehouse and Distribution Manager.  We sat down with Mike to reminisce about some of the key highlights of his career and the changes the business has faced over the last 40 years. How did your career start at Archwood? I left school in 1981 with basic qualifications and had no real desire to go to university. Whilst I decided what I really wanted to do in life, I began working at H Burbidge & Son and the rest is history. What roles have you undertaken throughout your time working for the business? I started working as a General Operative in the manufacturing area, working predominantly on the sanding machines and continued to do so for a couple of years. The factory manager at the time, George Waddington, then moved me on to the warehouse, where I learnt to be a forklift driver. After three years, I became a supervisor of the mouldings packing section which grew at a phenomenal rate becoming its own department. I was proud to have set this department up and made several changes and improvements. A few years later, I was made the Warehouse Department Manager by my then boss, Jim Emmens. A big thank you goes to Jim who enabled my career within the business and helped me develop towards my current role, to this day we remain very good friends. Jim retired and I worked alongside various transport managers to manage the W&D side of the business for a few years. The company then went through a restructuring program, and I became the manager for both the warehouse and distribution. This is where I’ve been for the last 10 years and remain in this role today. How have things changed since then? I could write my own book on this question! I’ve seen and experienced a lot of changes in 40 years, including some phenomenal growth and opportunity. The business has also got through all challenges that have been put in front of it and has always, where possible, continued to share its achievements with its employees. The single most obvious change has to be technology and communication. When I started, there was one computer in the main office and everything was paper based. Customer orders were received by phone, then handwritten labels and despatch notes were created. There were no mobile phones, no internet, no social media and communication was via telephone and an internal mail system. Meetings were taken by secretaries and correspondence typed up before being distributed out via post and internal mail. What is your current day-to-day role/responsibilities?  As the manager for both the warehouse and distribution, my day-to-day tasks include finishing goods receipt, stock replenishment, order picking and despatch, distribution of orders to customer and controlling a very demanding distribution budget. Any key achievements throughout your time at the business. Throughout my 40 years at Archwood, I’ve made many significant improvements and changes in both process and efficiencies to enhance the profitability of the company.    How have Archwood’s sustainability initiatives progressed over the years? Archwood has always been at the forefront of sustainability.  We were one of the first UK companies to be FSC certified and I remember our first environment management and reduction plan in the late 90’s way before it became popular.  Today we are committed to becoming a Net Zero business which is driving a lot of action throughout the company. Are there any exciting projects, launches or initiatives coming up that you’re particularly excited for or proud of? We are currently working on installing a new ERP/WMS system which will be both challenging and hopefully rewarding for all of the business.  The new system will give us a modern platform to enable future growth, integrate with new technologies and make our day to day operations even more efficient.

READ ARTICLE arrow-right
Our Sustainability Aims

We have been passionate about the design, manufacture and supply of timber home improvement products for over 150 years with sustainability being very much in our DNA. We feel privileged to work with this incredible natural resource every day and will always champion and support sustainable timber sourcing and production. In November 2021, we joined the United Nations' Race to Zero campaign, a global initiative in which we have pledged to achieve Net Zero emissions by no later than 2050 and halve our carbon footprint by 2030.  Since then, we have been busy taking action to ensure that we operate as sustainably as possible. By setting 6 core objectives this has allowed us to scrutinise every facet of the business; from administration, manufacturing and packaging, enabling us to improve the everyday sustainable habits of our employees. For example, our factory in Chirk, North Wales is now powered exclusively by renewable energy, including our new electric forklift trucks.  We also recently installed over 2,600 solar panels, with our new solar system producing enough energy to power 250 UK homes.  The efficient re-use and recycling of all of our waste products and packaging results in zero waste going to landfill, which is the equivalent to the same weight of 140 London buses. We are proud of the goals we have put in place and the work we're doing already to achieve  these.  Find out more about our sustainability aims in the below video..

READ ARTICLE arrow-right
Taking Sustainability to the next level

Here at Richard Burbidge, through our latest sustainability report, we have taken the time to analyse where our carbon footprint comes from to ensure we continue to deliver on our sustainable promises. The rising threat of greenwashing throughout competing industries has made it hugely important for us to document regular updates on our sustainability achievements. This is especially vital as we progress further with our pledges to achieve Net Zero, as part of the United Nations Race to Zero campaign, by no later than 2050 and halve our greenhouse gas emissions before 2030. We have taken the time to analyse where our carbon footprint comes from and ensure that we continue to deliver on our promise to give our customers the most eco-friendly and sustainable selection of timber products. Forming eco-friendly initiatives is crucial to our industries affect on the climate and we want to do our part in having a positive impact on the planet and society. Here’s just some of our most recent achievements: A zero waste to landfill policy, which means that 100% of our wood waste is recycled and repurposed. Recent solar panel installation at our Chirk factory, where we now generate 40% of the sites total energy requirements and helps to reduce our carbon emissions. Installation of seven electric vehicle charging points at our HQ carpark. Plans set in place to eliminate non-recyclable plastics from all of our packaging throughout 2023. Created six realistic objectives across the whole business to work on this year: carbon footprint, energy, packaging, commuting, waste/recycling and sustainable timber. Reflecting on the past year, our Manager Director, Josh Burbidge, describes how the business is setting the benchmark with Net Zero goals and year-on-year transparency towards their sustainability progress: “At Richard Burbidge, we’re passionate about design, manufacturing and the sustainable sourcing of timber products. We feel truly privileged to work with this incredible resource every day and we will always champion and support sustainable timber sourcing and production.” Download the full Sustainability Report 2022 here.

READ ARTICLE arrow-right
Glass Staircases: Serene Design

A rising trend to refresh your hallway for 2023 is installing a glass staircase. Ideal for introducing exceptional design and modern elegance into a space, glass can allow homeowners to create something really unique. Creating a serene home that can help to distract from the everyday chaos of our lives, whether that be at home or in the workplace, is of the upmost of importance when it comes to choosing a design scheme. Creating an inviting atmosphere and calming space that can be used to relax and unwind can also lead to improving health and wellbeing. Glass helps to achieve this peaceful look due to its ability to brighten up a room, adding a light and airy feel that not many other materials can achieve. Its texture is perfect for enhancing any lighting within a room, especially natural light from windows, skylights or doors, but even from painted walls. Glass panels allow for light to flow freely throughout a room and ensure that any views remain uninterrupted. Not only do they help to make the most out of lighting, but they can also create the illusion of space, ensuring that a space doesn’t look cluttered or messy. Combined with the light that floods through the glass, the staircase will be instantly opened up and create the impression of a larger hallway. Glass panels in contrast with sustainably sourced timber finishings is a great way to add a contemporary spin to a classic look. New to Richard Burbidge’s collection of stairparts is the Elements Inset Glass range, an easy to install stair system available in oak or a ready to paint softwood. The 8mm toughened glass panels which are fully strength tested to domestic regulations that slot into an Elements shape handrail and baserail, with adjoining timber fillets. Explore the full stair system here. To view Richard Burbidge’s full collection, please visit:

READ ARTICLE arrow-right
How Chirk-based manufacturer Richard Burbidge is leading the way in the sustainable timber trade

Family-run business and leading manufacturer of timber products, Richard Burbidge, is providing a glimpse into its success. From the production process to recent sustainability initiatives, find out how this Chirk-based company is setting the standard within the timber industry. As a sustainable manufacturer, the business has a long history of purchasing a large volume of FSC© and PEFC© certified materials to ensure the sourcing of wood comes from sustainably managed forests which encourage biodiversity, increase forestation and maximise CO2 absorption. When taking on new suppliers, a number of audits are put in place to ensure all credentials are checked and that the few products without FSC© or PEFC© certifications comply with the UK’s Timber Regulations (UKTR). This allows the team to know exactly where their timber is coming from to guarantee high quality and reliable supply chains. A large volume of the company’s softwood timber is purchased from Scandinavia, from FSC© certified forests, where the timber is felled and processed into lumber sections which are then dispatched for further processes at the Chirk factory in North Wales. Here, the timber is consciously used to form their best-selling ranges from to stairparts, decking and mouldings. Scott Beddow, Procurement Manager, has worked for the business since 2002, where he joined as a Packing Operative for Richard Burbidge. Scott quickly moved up the ranks over the years and achieved his current role in February 2020, where he now heads up the purchasing and production planning departments. Scott comments: “Here at Richard Burbidge, we continually look at the lifecycle of products and use agencies to gain insight on what the current trends are within the market. This way, we can tailor our product range accordingly along with new product development.” “The business has always strived to be at the forefront of sustainability, especially during the production process. For many years we have had a biomass boiler which provides all of the heating to the factory and we have recently installed 2,600 solar panels on site to produce one third of our electricity needs. We also ensure our waste is kept to a minimum and utilise our wood waste into heating or have this collected for the hospitality and animal bedding market.” It is this attention to the business’ carbon footprint that allows the business to stand out within the timber trade.  Lee Burford, Director of Operations, comments: “Setting an example when it comes to sustainability and pioneering eco conscious initiatives is more important than ever within the manufacturing industry. Through our own sustainability report, we have also encouraged our suppliers to adopt best practice in sustainability and we will support them in adopting similar business processes that function with our environment in mind.” View our Sustainability Report 2022

READ ARTICLE arrow-right
Archwood Group awarded gold accreditation for employee wellbeing

Investors in People, who offer accreditations to organisations within the UK, have recently awarded Archwood Group with the ‘We Invest in Wellbeing’, gold accreditation. The accreditation follows the exceptional wellbeing strategy that has been put in place, which ensures employees receive equal opportunities and have dedicated spaces to work, as well as socialise. Helping to improve the overall wellbeing of our employees has been a particular focus for the team over the past two years. The COVID-19 pandemic saw a need to protect employee welfare, as well monitor how the team could work safely together within the workplace. Having recognised this, Investors in People has awarded the impressive gold accreditation. This follows the hard work that the HR team have carried out throughout both the pandemic and as the cost of living began to increase. Team member, Jess Budenburg, was also recently awarded Workplace Champion at the Credit Union Wales Awards 2022. As a family-run business, employees always come first at Archwood and this is reflected within all parts of its workplace and team, from our North Wales-based factory in Chirk, to our Scotland base and all our employees working around the UK. Josh Burbidge, Manager Director of Archwood Group, comments: “We are so proud to have achieved this accreditation by Investors in People. Ensuring we maintain and improve our employee’s wellbeing is of the upmost importance to us here at Archwood Group. “Both our HR and senior team always go above and beyond for our employees and following the recent pandemic and ongoing cost of living crisis, consistent and equal support is key.” Investors in People is a government owned standard for people management that offers workplace accreditations for UK organisations. They believe that by making work better for everyone and helping people to get more out of it than just a pay cheque, they can make a society stronger, healthier and happier. Paul Devoy, CEO of Investors in People, comments “We’d like to congratulate Archwood Group. The Gold accreditation on We Invest in Wellbeing is a fantastic effort for any organisation, and places Archwood Group in fine company with a host of organisations that understand the value of their people.” 

READ ARTICLE arrow-right

Combining fantastic design with the finest craftsmanship

Established in 1867, family run Richard Burbidge has been passionate about the design, manufacture and supply of timber products for over 150 years. Today we offer a range of innovative products designed to transform your home.

about us

Search our product catalogue