Management buyout completed at Ipswich furniture maker Titchmarsh & Goodwin

Furniture being made at Titchmarsh & Goodwin.

Furniture being made at Titchmarsh & Goodwin. - Credit: Archant

The new owners of a long-established furniture maker based in Ipswich are hoping to take the business forward to new success.

Jamie Cooper and Angela Linforth are celebrating after completing a management buyout of Titchmarsh & Goodwin, keeping on its 32 staff.

The 96-year-old business, based in the town’s Back Hamlet, includes cabinet makers, wood-turners, carvers, gilders and French polishers who use traditional methods to make English oak, maple and walnut furniture, with its furniture being stocked by retailers including Harrods in London and Smith and Watson in New York.

The firm was sold by the Goodwin family to a Russian owner in 2012 but Mr Cooper and Ms Linforth, who were employees of the business, have now secured control, with support from the NatWest Bank.

It looked at one stage as if the deal might fall through when another potential buyer emerged but they were eventually able to clinch the deal, with help from law firm Birketts and accountants Scrutton Bland.

Mr Cooper has been at the company for more than 10 years and took over the day-to-day running of the business nearly two years ago.

Ms Linforth, whose background is in interiors journalism, joined in May 2014 and has been working on updating the company’s image, website and advertising.

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“We both thought the company could have a brighter future and thought it would be great to buy it,” said Mr Cooper. “We then set about trying to acquire it, which was not a process that either of us knew much about.

“We put together a business plan to raise bank finance, which was proving difficult until we met Gavin Brooks at NatWest and Stuart Agar at Finance East who both shared our vision of what this company could do and how important it is to keep these amazing craft skills alive in Suffolk.

“At every step of the way we’ve had amazing support and advice, from the bank, our accountants Scrutton Bland and solicitors Birketts.”

Ms Linforth added: “We’re really delighted and proud to have bought a company with so many traditional skills and such a talented workforce and we’re looking forward to growing the business and getting it really recognised for the quality of the work we do. We think there’s a real appetite for beautiful pieces of furniture that have been made here in Suffolk. We’re really excited about the future.”

James Austin, a corporate law partner at Birketts, said the firm had been introduced to the new owners by Scrutton Bland and was delighted to have been involved in helping them to clinch the deal.

Mr Austin was assisted by colleagues Mark Gipson, also a corporate partner, and Stuart Raven, commercial property partner, with Sue Gull acting for Scrutton Bland. Also involved in the deal alongside Gavin Brooks, director, business banking at NatWest, was relationship manager Simon Nicholson.

Titchmarsh & Goodwin was established in 1920 by George Goodwin and Lawrence Titchmarsh, although the origins of the business date back to the 18th Century when an earlier George Goodwin, son of a local carpenter, returned to Ipswich after completing an apprenticeship as a cabinet maker in London.