Luton family business that has been in town for almost 150 years looks back on its legacy

The company was formed in 1875
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A family-run business in Luton is celebrating generations of hard workers for this year's Family Business Week.

Family Business Week (November 20-24) is a celebration of family businesses and the impact they have on their wider communities.

The Neville Trust group of companies has been in business for nearly 150 years and is now run by the fifth generation of the Neville family.

Edward Neville (Left) and Thomas Neville (Right)Edward Neville (Left) and Thomas Neville (Right)
Edward Neville (Left) and Thomas Neville (Right)

The company was founded as T&E Neville by brothers Thomas and Edward in 1875. The brothers were builders, joiners, and coffin makers in Luton. By 1881, the business had acquired a yard at the rear of its Castle Street premises and acquired its first apprentice, Arthur Cawdell.

Third-generation Bernard joined the company in 1932 and was responsible for leading the drive into industrial building. His sons Michael and Peter were responsible for the company moving to Leagrave.

The family said: “Part of our legacy is our commitment to recruiting, training, and upskilling apprentices within the business. Just as T&E Neville hired its first apprentice in 1881, our dedication to the vocational training of younger people continues to this day.

“Growing up in a family business, it’s clear that the influence of Thomas and Edward Neville is still ever-present within the company six generations on.”

Left to Right: James Trumper, Michael Henman, Peter HenmanLeft to Right: James Trumper, Michael Henman, Peter Henman
Left to Right: James Trumper, Michael Henman, Peter Henman

Apprentice James Trumper, who is the sixth generation of the Neville family, said: “My apprenticeship offers the best of both worlds. A lecture hall environment at Westminster University for academic learning, alongside the practical classroom of my everyday workplace.”

James said that apprenticeships can be a productive, cost-effective way to expand or upskill a workforce.

He added: “It provides a solution to short-term and long-term skills shortages – with a cohort of home-grown talent and a new generation of young and aspiring employees who are informed about the training and development options open to them and willing to access them.”

The Neville family said: “Our advice to Future Leaders, who aspire to begin their own family business, would be to put this same care and attention into your workforce. After all, they are without a doubt, your best and most trustworthy asset.”

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