The vision that began from a garden shed goes from strength to strength when Gresham produce office furniture to a high specification.

It was co-founder Ted Smith’s desire to provide high-quality office desks that started the family-run company on their journey.

Ted was a typewriter engineer who noticed the tatty state of people’s work stations on his rounds and reckoned he could do better.

He built his first desk from the outhouse and developed a business that is now Gresham, a name derived from a former cotton mill in Oldham, Lancashire.

It evolved into a workforce now boasts more than 250 people, who produce over 11,000 units of furniture per week.

It’s a far cry from using electric milk floats to move components between locations, although it proves being environmentally friendly has always been in their hearts.

They moved into a purpose-built state of the art manufacturing facility before the turn of the century, which cost the company £1m.

It doubled up as a Bio-Mass incineration plant, creating a renewable energy source which burns all waste board to generate heat.

Their headquarters in Bolton has been constantly revamped and redeveloped since and expansion on Platinum Park is secure.

Managing director Julian Roebuck is Ted’s son-in-law and now leads an operation with a multi-million turnover, having first worked with Gresham on his placement year from university.

The company has opened showrooms in London and the Middle East, serving the latter through a distribution network.

Gresham first started designing and manufacturing seating to complement their desking and storing ranges.

They now produce soft seating, task chairs, desks, tables, screens and storage systems, all designed and manufactured in Bolton.

They continue to be innovative, particularly when it comes to bespoke contract furnishing in the workplace.

Their brief for the 91,000 sq ft Moneypenny headquarters in Wrexham was simple, ‘rip up the rule book and create a space that inspires.’


The new building brought staff from five offices into one central hub and a village pub, stadium seating and a treehouse boardroom were all added to the unique set-up.

Gresham were asked to provide desk solutions that were space efficient for the 600 call centre workers over two floors, along with designing divider screens to control noise levels.

They designed 600 workstations, which were angled at 120 degrees, and work with both the customer and Moneypenny’s staff focus groups all the way through the process.

They first made prototype desks and acoustic panels, so the client could try out the quality and suitability of the solution before they were mass produced.

Task chairs from the Platinum Squared range were selected and manufactured in a variety of colours, to coordinate with the interior. Bench2 workstations and tables went with them.

It was all made in Bolton and Gresham’s creative minds put the framework in place, with Moneypenny transformed as a result.

Check out to see what they can do for you or call them on 01204 664 422. Alternatively, email

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