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Art exhibition to include boss of Keighley firm John W Laycock -
15 February 2017



THE managing director of a steel company will be picture perfect as part of a British art exhibition celebrating family-run firms.

Mark Sugden, of John W Laycock Ltd, based in Bradford Road, Riddlesden, Keighley, has had his portrait painted by artist Helen Perkins as part of the Face Forward exhibition.

This scheme is a collaboration between business and financial advisers Armstrong Watson, who has selected ten faces of family business immortalised on canvas.

Mr Sugden, who has already completed two sittings for his portrait, was invited to take part in the project by Armstrong Watson, who are celebrating their 150th anniversary this year.

He said: “Sitting for your portrait really gives time for reflection and can change your perspective.

“Taking a different view on life is very positive, bringing new energy into the business.

“We’ve worked with Armstrong Watson for at least two generations, going back to the 1930s.

“Not only have they consistently provided us with sound advice, but they also take an innovative approach to supporting family business.

“Whether this is by offering leadership courses to unlock potential, or with something like this portrait project which I believe will be very powerful and will give an insight into what makes some of Britain’s oldest businesses so special.”

Once all of the paintings are completed, the portrait exhibition will tour the north of England as part of Armstrong Watson’s anniversary celebrations.

Dave Clarkson, Armstrong Watson’s business development director and strategic business adviser, said: “We hope that the portraits, whether of a grandparent, parent or a young family member, will provide a unique way of giving a flavour of the past, present and future of family business.”

John W Laycock, which employs 14 people, supplies a broad range of steel including heavy sections, mild steel bar, sheet and plate, bright engineering grades, stainless steel, alloys and engineering sundries.

It is also the largest local stockist of malleable and galvanised steel pipe fittings.

The company, which remains family owned and run, can trace its origins back to the 1740s when Mr Heaton made nails in Keighley.

John William Laycock established the firm as a limited company in 1810, moving into the premises on North Street in 1893.

Iron and steel have always been the main products, accompanied by other stock at different times, including ironmongery, household and general furnishings, joinery, and mill furnishings.

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Art exhibition to include boss of Keighley firm John W Laycock


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