Ideal Stelrad looks forward to bumper centenary year

The way we were — inspectors check cast-iron boiler sections in the early days of Ideal Stelrad, which commemorates its centenary this year.
Ideal Stelrad’s centenary year, 2005, is destined to be very special, says John Colling (group marketing director) and Martin Smith (UK sales director of parent company Caradon Plumbing). The origins of the company stretch back to 1905 with the production of cast-iron radiators from a factory in Hull. It was in the 1920s that the company started producing commercial boilers. One of the key market drivers for 2005 will be the transition to high-efficiency boilers, as required by new Building Regulations. John Colling tells us that high-efficiency boilers accounted for over 20% of sales at the end of last year and expects the proportion to increase to 65% by the end of the year. ‘The transition to high-efficiency boilers will have a favourable impact on Ideal,’ he says, stressing that the company will not get caught short by this transition. As part of this trend, the company will be launching a high-efficiency cast-iron boiler for houses. John Colling explains that of 18 million gas-fired boilers installed in houses in the UK, about 10.5 million are cast iron and that 26% of wall-hung cast-iron boilers are replaced with the same — as the householder’s choice. As part of a plan to introduce new products in every segment of the industry, there will be significant and substantial additions to the decorative-radiator offering. Commemorating the centenary itself will be a far-reaching programme of communicating with customers and, in particular, the Connect installer relationship programme, including centenary dinners throughout the UK. John Colling concludes, ‘In 30 years I have never known the UK heating market to be in such good shape, and it has all the ingredients for a really good market going forward.’

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