The Chairman of Checkatrade visited Darlington to present a local tradesperson with his membership of the national network and praise him on the growth of his business.

Checkatrade Chairman, Richard Harpin, who founded emergency repairs business HomeServe, visited M.a.f Plumbing, Heating & Gas Services and its Managing Director, Mark Fryer, as part of a tour of tradespeople signed up to the service from across the North East.

Mark, who only signed up to Checkatrade in April, is one of the most recent business owners to sign up to the service.

M.a.f recouped its annual membership fee paid to Checkatrade within 30 days of signing up to the service, following an influx of enquiries directed from the website.

Checkatrade, which has more than 29,000 tradespeople signed up to the service, was acquired for a total of £78m by Homeserve, in 2017.

M.a.f is in its fifth year of trading and is expecting to create two gas technician positions over the next year.

The company, which is Gas Safe registered and an accredited Worcester and Baxi Installer, provides a range of Heating & Plumbing solutions, including boiler installations and all plumbing, heating and gas services. It is also able to offer finance packages to customers through Ideal4Finance.

M.a.f is also OFTEC approved for the installation and maintenance of oil fired appliances and oil storage tanks, having received the accreditation to deliver these services.

Mark Fryer said: “As I progress with my expansion plans and job creation, it is important to strengthen our reputation as a trusted trader and further enhance our customer relations. The investment in Checkatrade has so far paid dividends as I have received a number of enquiries, which have resulted in sales that far exceed my annual membership fee.

“I hadn’t really explored any services of this kind before, so it was surprising and welcome news to have gotten off to such a good start! It was also good to meet with Richard and learn more about Checkatrade and its capabilities, while also explaining the nature of my business and future plans of M.a.f.”

Mark added: “I am now looking to kick on from this period of positivity and progress with my recruitment plans, which will drive forward growth and the long-term prospects of the firm.”

Mark, 39, previously served in the Royal Logistics Corps of the Armed Forces, obtaining the rank of Sergeant, before training to become a gas technician and establishing M.a.f in 2013.

Richard Harpin, Chairman of Checkatrade, said: “Attracting reputable tradespeople is vital to the future growth of Checkatrade, and Mark’s business exemplifies the type of trusted traders signed up to the service. It was good to learn more about M.a.f and other Checkatrade companies in the region, and I would like to wish Mark and his team well for the future.”

M.a.f serves homes and businesses throughout Tees Valley, Durham, Catterick, Richmond, Teesdale and all surrounding areas.