The Canopies UK journey – where we are now and where we’re heading

Posted on | Posted in About Canopies UK

For the last 29 years, Canopies UK has led the outdoor canopy field.

Today, we’re widely renowned as being the country’s leading designer, manufacturer and installer of high quality canopies.

Like all companies, there was a starting point, and for us, ours (believe it or not) began with a flyer. In this Q&A blog, Managing Director, Jason Eastwood, talks us through Canopies UK’s roots, future vision, and explains how that all-important flyer comes into the equation.

Q. How did Canopies UK start?

A: Canopies the company was formed in February 1990. My dad, Russell Eastwood, started the business with Elaine Morris, who is still involved in the company.

Back then, he’d sold his business and was helping my uncle out at his conservatory business when a flyer dropped through the door, advertising what we now call our Connekt outdoor canopy. Dad liked the product so much, that he bought the company and formed Canopies.

waiting shelters

Q. What did you do before Canopies UK?

A. I joined Canopies UK in June 1996, having spent 18 months working for Moores Furniture Group in the South East of England.

I wanted to relocate to the north of England and was considering travelling abroad for a few months, so my mum asked dad to give me a job! It was at this point that I joined the company – I was put in charge of Commercial Sales, which had just been formed, and things just took off.

Q: Where were you based in the beginning?

A: At the start, it was pretty much just my dad with a few sales personnel, but the company grew quickly. We were initially based at my uncle’s conservatory business and stayed there for many years, as we’d converted the upstairs of a mill there. We’ve always been based in Darwen.

Q. How has Canopies UK developed over the years?

A: We started off just focusing on homeowners and complementing our own sales team with a network of distributors, who covered the South.

These days, we cover more of the country directly ourselves, but we still have a similar model in place for our Home & Garden side of the business. We did briefly get involved in exporting to countries, such as the South Africa, Holland and the Middle East.

However, our two biggest areas of the business are undoubtedly Commercial, which is heavily involved in providing outdoor canopies and shelters to the Education and Hospitality sectors, and Regeneration & House Builders.

Q. What’s been pivotal to Canopies UK’s success?

A. Quite simply, it’s our employees. We’ve been extremely fortunate to have employees, who have been with us for large parts of the journey and although, to some degree, we were a family business, we all work so well together, that we are just like one big family. Here’s what a couple of them have to say about working for us:

I like working for Canopies UK, as even after the longest and hardest of days, I know I’m making a difference to a lot of people. I can sit back and know it’s all for a good cause and that’s worth any number of hours of hard work.”

Having worked for Canopies UK for over 13 years, the best thing about working here is the transformation of an area and making what was a bit of land at the side of a house (or school) a usable space! The satisfaction that it gives is huge, not to mention the lovely people you meet along the way!

We also have a set of core values that we live by every day. This enables us to provide excellent customer service and an overall offering that sets us apart from the competition, which has become increasingly fierce over the years.

Q. What’s your vision for the future?

A. Our vision remains the same – for every property in the UK to have one of our products.

Q. How do you intend to achieve this vision?

A. By continuing to live by our values organisation-wide, which range from remembering that customers deserve more than they expect and celebrating and acknowledging our achievements, to working as one team and always keeping the promises we make.

Would you like to find out more about our market-leading outdoor canopies? Why not visit our case studies page where you can take a look at some of the canopies we’ve previously installed in locations across the country.