George left school at an early age to start work as an apprentice decorator with one of Glasgow’s largest decorating companies (which no longer exists). Throughout his apprenticeship he enjoyed learning from the company’s journeymen, and after the prerequisite length of time he too became a craftsman.
He was an ambitious and determined young man and soon after qualifying set up business with a like minded partner. After a number of years, like many partnerships, they decided to go their own way and George set up the company which has metamorphosed to become the Bell Group UK. This is arguably the largest painting and decorating contractor in the UK with offices in most major UK cities.
Bell Group UK is the only UK national decorating company which is first generation start up and is still family owned.
Bell Group UK run the UK administration from our modern purpose built headquarters in Airdrie and are the only Scottish decorating company competing is this sphere; all the other nationals are run from England with satellite Scottish offices.
Bell Group UK employ in excess of 600 operatives nationally and are strong supporters of the apprenticeship system registering in Scotland between 15 and 20 each year. Therefore, have in training, in any apprentice period, almost 80 young people.
Bell Group UK believe in promoting from within and many young employees progress to sit an HNC in painting and decorating supervision and George is proud that his company has been at the forefront of this qualification.
George is a staunch supporter of Scottish Decorators' Federation and his company provides committee members and board members who help design and monitor the Federation’s progress. He is pleased that with his company’s assistance, the Federation has progressed well in representing our industry and providing registration of our young apprentices through SPADAC.
What can George bring to the Industry Leadership Group? Well obviously how an ambitious entrepreneur can start up a small business and grow it to become a Scottish based company working throughout the UK. He knows the pitfalls of progress and how to deal with them. He understands employment at all levels from apprenticeship to director level and understands the political framework, working in partnership with some local and national political figures.