The man who helped to build Britain’s leading hygienic flooring installation company Kemtile has received deserved recognition as a modern trailblazer in the sector – scooping the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual prize ceremony hosted by the national Resin Flooring Association (FeRFA).
Stephen Westley was hand-picked by judges after more than 30 years of service in the flooring world – helping transform Kemtile from a six-figure firm into an award-winning, £14 million business so renowned it was snapped up by US-based multinational Stonhard.
Stephen stepped back from the firm in 2020, but helped to lay the crucial foundations for an exciting future – with former business partner Jamie Cook taking the reins for what is already turning out to be a successful new era.
Regarded as a key figure in raising standards of resin flooring installations nationwide, Stephen has also been credited with helping to enhance the profile of the industry overall – particularly within the food and pharma sectors.
Throughout his career, Stephen revolutionised flooring work by championing the use of heavy-duty polyurethanes as a component of a complete flooring solution – staging trade exhibitions and CPD seminars to promote the use and benefits of resin flooring. These activities increased sales for manufacturers of polyurethane products, with an emphasis on quality and providing the right product for the job.
Stephen began his journey by studying for his Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Building Surveying in the 1970s whilst working at Ab Chem – one of the country’s largest industrial flooring contractors at the time.
Stephen worked closely with director Maurice Williamson during his stint at Ab Chem, and the duo would later go on to Williamson Corrosion Control sponsored by Trafford Park – proceeding to acquire Corrosion Engineering Services with the help of David Catell.
The business was bought out by KCH Gmbh in 1994, and Stephen opted to team up with Jamie Cook to purchase Kemtile in 1998 – spearheading a wide range of huge industrial flooring and drainage projects including the installation of 20000m2 of Ucrete at Arla Foods in Leeds.
Kemtile was also handed FeRFA’s Contractor of the Year award in 2009 for work completed at Greencore in Corby.
Stephen stated: “Over the years, Jamie and I have been lucky to build up an excellent team in the office, on site and in the warehouse. We’ve all worked hard and had many laughs over the years.
“We’ve been fortunate to build long-lasting trading relationships with many clients who have become good friends.
“Finally, many thanks and much love to my wife Carol for her continued support and expert financial skills and hard work since the early days at Corrosion Engineering service.”
Jamie Cook is now taking Kemtile forwards, stating: “Stephen and I took over Kemtile in the nineties and we’re proud of becoming one of the industry’s major players – setting new standards for flooring installation and working on some brilliant projects.
“Stephen’s contribution to the business and the wider sector in general cannot be underestimated – it was an honour working with him and this accolade is well deserved.
“Everyone learned a lot from Stephen’s contributions and stewardship. Kemtile continues to thrive and we are excited for the future.”