Smiths Gore, a rural property consultancy of chartered surveyors, opened in Darlington in 1863 and now employs 25 people in the town and turns over £1.4m from the Darlington office.
Since its inception as a purely land management practice, the firm has diversified, offering many areas of specialism including architecture and building surveying, planning and development, rural commercial property and private property consultancy.
The business is now aiming to continue to expand its presence in the North East in several of its emerging markets, while maintaining close relationships with the owners of many of the region’s most well known estates and historic houses.
Despite the ongoing diversification, the principal market for the firm in the region is in providing expert services to owners of high value private properties and land assets.
Lead Partner Philip Coles said: “We are proud of our long association with the North East and our work over 150 years in the rural community.
“We have continued to trade through two World Wars, too many recessions to remember and numerous challenges along the way, but we remain in a strong position on which to build further growth in the region.
“Although we maintain our traditional values, the company we operate today is almost unrecognisable from the business that started out in 1863.
“We have diversified into many property related markets over the years and continue to broaden our offering and move the business forward.”
To mark its 150th anniversary, Smiths Gore is on a fundraising drive this year to support two charities – the Upper Teesdale Agriculture Support Services (UTASS) and Beefy’s Charity Foundation.
UTASS works with the local farming communities in the Upper Teesdale area specialising in the handling of agricultural matters, while Beefy’s supports various good causes and is headed up by cricketing legend Sir Ian Botham.
The company, which acts for clients with total landholdings in excess of 134,000 acres, expects to raise around £20,000 for the two charities through various challenges, including five-day walk along the Teesdale Way.
For more information on Smiths Gore visit http://www.smithsgore.co.uk/