First year business in line for award

Ben Barras

Ben Barras

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A Blackpool landscape design business is celebrating passing a year in business with a nomination for a national award.

Ben Barras of Stonecraft launched his business through Blackpool’s Get Started project which helps would-be entrepreneurs get on the path to business.

An example of Stonercraft's work

An example of Stonercraft's work

Now it has been shortlisted in this year’s Marshalls Register Awards, which aims to recognise excellence in hard landscaping design.

The North Shore firm, which employs two – with plans to take on more staff – is in great demand and already has bookings into next year.

Ben said: “We’ve just had the best news ever in that we’ve been successfully shortlisted in this year’s Marshalls Register Awards.

“The ceremony takes place in December so we have all fingers and toes firmly crossed!

We’ve just had the best news ever in that we’ve been successfully shortlisted in this year’s Marshalls Register Awards

“I was an employee at a company who specialised in groundworks services for national housing developers, such as Redrow.

“While I was gaining valuable experience and knowledge by working in a fast-paced industry, deep down I knew I needed to spread my wings and put my talents and qualifications to better use.

“Ever since being a young boy, my true passion has been for landscaping and design. In February 2014, I decided to approach Geoff Reeves at the council’s Get Started service after hearing so many success stories of other local entrepreneurs.

“The planning process in terms of market research, developing the brand and ensuring we positioned ourselves appropriately in the market is what took up the most time. Although we were eager to get out there and start working, we knew we had to package the company well so people could see what we stood for from the word go.

“Thankfully, we received some excellent reviews from our first customers and word spread quickly about the work we were doing.”

Stonecraft has clients across the Fylde and surrounding areas as well as Lancaster and from next year Cheshire.

Former Montgomery student Ben added: “We aim to provide a high-end, bespoke landscaping service for homeowners across the Fylde Coast who are looking to transform their outdoor space. We get lots of requests from families; these days more people see their garden as an extension of their home, an investment to increase the value of their property and as a space to entertain guests or somewhere safe for their children to play.”