A FAMILY run electrical contractor is looking to a year of growth after bouncing back from the challenges it faced during 2020, brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Like many businesses, Seaham-based Nala Engineers was forced to furlough staff as the country was plunged into the first national lockdown last March.

Despite a healthy order book, many of the contracts the company was working on or due to start were put on hold as employers within the retail and construction sectors – Nala’s main markets – were forced to halt operations.

However, a few months later the company was back at full strength and, despite the severity of the ongoing coronavorus pandemic, which has put the country into a third national lockdown, it is now looking ahead to a positive year with client and personnel growth.

Director Nicola Duke said: “There’s no doubt 2020 was a tough year for us, like it was for many businesses, and we did have to furlough staff. Thankfully we were able to access support from our bank and have also been able to secure grant funding, which has given us confidence in our financial position moving forward.

“Although the instability of the economic climate meant we had to change our business forecasts, we ended the year on a high and now, although we remain in a third national lockdown, we have been able to continue working and are looking forward to a bright future.

“We’re now looking ahead and are confident that the forecasts we put in place at the start of 2020 are once again achievable. That includes continuing to invest in our apprenticeship programme, which has already seen four apprentices join the business with one now fully qualified, and growing our client portfolio.”

Nala Engineers was founded by Pat and David Pollard in 1979 and now counts the likes of Aldi, Caterpillar, Wickes, Gateshead Housing and Matalan among its clients.

The company is based at Tempest Road in Seaham and employs a team of over 20 people.

Nicola added: “There seems to be a real confidence within the regional business community and I think many employers are now accepting that this is our new way of working. With construction able to continue and businesses now set up for safe socially distanced working, it’s given companies a renewed belief that we will get through this international health crisis and by working together, emerge stronger from it.”