This firm is officially one of the best places to work in the UK and its head office is in Fareham

AN INDEPENDENT plumbing and heating merchants has been listed as one of the best places to work in the UK.

Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 10:06 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 11:10 am
Williams & Co in Standard Way, Fareham, came number 76 in the The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to work for. Picture: Sarah Standing (010319-619)

The Sunday Times placed Williams & Co, which has its central support offices in Fareham, as the 76th Best Company to Work for in the UK.

The firm, which started in Portsmouth in 1972, now employs 304 people and has 36 branches in Berkshire, Hampshire, Kent, London, Surrey and Sussex.

Founded by Mick Williams, a former director of Pompey who was a leading light in the Pompey Supporters Trust’s takeover, the company was a traditional local independent merchant for many years. In more recent years, the company has become a fast-growing, regional merchant. 

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Williams & Co in Standard Way, Fareham Pictured is: (l-r) Manny Bashorun, accounts receivable administrator, Ian Carter, branch support manager, Marie Steel, operations support, Donna Armstrong, operations support, Georgina Holdsworth, operations admin manager, Amy Green, HR advisor and Patrick Skilton, commercial manager. Picture: Sarah Standing (010319-671)

In 2015, the company was acquired from the Williams family by a consortium of management and staff, with most employees now being shareholders.

Last year the firm made it on to the London Stock Exchange’s top 1,000 companies to inspire Europe. 

MD Ray Stafford said: ‘We’re working ceaselessly to make Williams & Co the best plumber’s merchant in Britain, and the best employer in our sector.

‘While our ‘Excellent’ 9.7 Trustpilot score is evidence of the standard of our service, we hope that this most recent accolade from The Sunday Times proves that we’re making inroads to become the best employer, too.’ 

Williams & Co in Standard Way, Fareham Pictured is: (l-r) Matt Roberts, business systems analyst, Ian Carter, branch support manager and Paul Davies, facilities operations manager. Picture: Sarah Standing (010319-2080)

He said that the award was due to teamwork – and down to his hard working managers. 

He said: ‘Workplace culture comes from a thousand little interactions with team colleagues and how your line manager treats you when you are going through a tough time, whether your ideas are listened to, and lots of other, relatively small things which collectively can make or ruin every day.

‘Everyone contributes, but the supervisors, team leaders, assistant managers and branch and department managers are amongst the most critical in making or breaking the workplace culture.’ 

Jonathan Austin, founder and CEO, Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For magazine, said: ‘I would like to congratulate Willliams & Co on being named as one of the UK’s Best Companies to Work for.

‘We are proud that organisations like Williams & Co focus on their employees and have been rewarded with an engaged workforce who tell us that they’re a best company to work for.' 

Williams & Co has a strict trade-only policy and do not sell to retail customers.

The core principles of the company include integrity, loyalty and ambition and it says it is always looking for ways to improve and grow the business.

For vacancies at the firm go to