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Cheltenham Family Firm Celebrates 170 Years!

George Bence & Sons Ltd have become one of the very few businesses in the world to make it to 170 years as a family business and are rightfully celebrating this milestone.

Born in 1854, under the period of early Victorian Era, deliveries were made with horse and cart from the central location of Cheltenham Spa town, in the rather aptly named area of Mount Pleasant. To this day the business still operate their headquarters from the original


Over 52,000 working days later, ‘Bences’ as they are affectuously known, have 8 branches,

with 150 skilled and knowledgeable staff with an eclectic range of skills. They span from mixed merchants to high end kitchen & bathroom showrooms, stand alone roofing, decorating and plumbing centres to a supply and fit doors & windows business along with a thriving online bathrooms company.

They are the largest independent supplier of building materials in the Cotswolds and hold a staff retention rate 4 times over the national average.

Chris Bence, 5th generation and current Group Chairman commented; "As a multi-generation family business owner, I can look with much satisfaction at our company and family history and examine what we’ve done to stay relevant over the years."

"The business has survived, and since thrived, through world wars, pandemics and multiple recessions. I feel so honoured and content that I have played a part in our current history and do not doubt that we will make 200 years under the next generations!"

Paul Bence, 6th generation and current Group Managing Director commented; "Our family business is continuing to be a never ending journey and one that is ever evolving. It is the accumulation of great effort day after day eventually developing longevity, which then very much is the becoming of our tradition."

"After 170 years we truly believe our customers are now increasingly aware of who they’re

buying from and that they want to purchase from businesses that really care about their

customers and their products. I feel that profit and sustainability aren’t mutually exclusive

and the latter should always come before the former."

"Unashamedly whenever I can, I use our status as a sixth generation family run business to

differentiate us from the competition. I am extremely proud to have been given the opportunity to drive our special business into an 18th decade, leading product diversification through are international multi award winning little old building materials firm from Cheltenham Spa."

Bence’s have plans to open two branches in the coming period together with a half a million

pound renovation of their flagship kitchen & bathroom showroom, Obsidian Interiors,

beginning in July.

The Company put together this special video to honour their 170 years of service as a family business which sums up their journey to date beautifully.


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