A Yorkshire growth strategy firm has taken over a 70-year-old northeast brickyard.

Leeds-based, Alpaca, added family-run merchants, W McGovern and Co Ltd of Gateshead to its portfolio of businesses recently and reinstated the former managing director.

Founder of Alpaca, Richard Turner, said: “This is an exciting addition to the Alpaca family. In terms of difference, it’s about as far away from what people think we do as we can get.

“We’re putting our hand in our pockets to prove to our clients that if we can rapidly improve the fortunes of our own businesses, we can do it for you.”

The brickyard was run in 2018-19 by Andrew Pickersgill. He said: “I’m thrilled to be back. McGovern has a special place in my heart and I want to give the team the support they need whilst also nurturing the business to develop and grow.

“One of the things I love about this place is the depth of knowledge of the people who work here. The average length of service is 20 years and many of the employees are like brick encyclopaedias.

“We don’t just sell bricks to housebuilders, architects and self-build professionals, we make sure we match the exact style of brick to the area and the building it’s going to be part of. It’s a unique service.”

The team behind Alpaca spent 2020 focusing on their ‘Alpaca Ventures’ arm, which provides start-up and scaling online businesses, particularly in the fashion and retail world, with operational, legal and marketing support. The founders, Rob Ashall and Richard Turner, also bought a growing debt recovery business, Goldsmith Bowers, in Bradford early in 2020 and plan to transform it into a digital platform.