Drainage and sewage pumps specialist, Metro Rod, has last month celebrated our 40th anniversary, marking four decades as the leading provider in our field.
Established in 1983 by Gill Walker, our company – originally named A1 Drains – has evolved significantly. Starting from a single premise in Cheshire providing basic drainage services, we have grown to over 55 franchisees across the UK, including specific plumbing franchisees, and now offer a wealth of 24/7 drain-related solutions including tankers, pumps, CCTV drain surveys, grease trap management, asset mapping and high-pressure drain jetting.
Metro Rod became part of Franchise Brands in 2017 and throughout our lifetime, has grown our customer portfolio to include many national, household names. In 2022, we visited 93% of UK postcodes with 149,000 site visits and achieved revenues of £60m for the first time.
To celebrate the milestone, staff from the business’s support centre and senior board met at its Macclesfield headquarters in June for a summer party including food and drink, and live music and entertainment.
Wanting to use the anniversary as an opportunity to give back to the communities we operate in, Metro Rod is launching a ‘40 bags for 40 years’ initiative where each of our franchisees will donate 40 bags of food to local food banks – equating to more than 2,000 packages provided to people in need around the country.
Reflecting on when she first launched the business, Gill Walker said: “The idea for Metro Rod originally came from a conversation in a pub with a drainage engineer, who explained what he did for work. We worked on a dairy farm in Warwickshire at the time, but we had been wanting to move back to Cheshire. We decided to launch the business and move at the same time – the adventure began from there.
“One of our biggest achievements was realising we had built a business from scratch that was of interest to the likes of Thames Water, who took over ownership in 1990 – it proved we’d done a fantastic job. We experienced that same proud moment in 2017 when Franchise Brands became owners, and now we’re able to celebrate that small business we started from nothing turning 40.
“Owners that care and the amazing management team are what drives this company forward, as well as unbelievable hard work from all its franchisees. We have evolved into a thriving, successful business in Metro Rod, and I know everyone who works here will continue making me proud for a long time to come.”
Current CEO of Metro Rod, Peter Molloy, said: “This is a momentous time in the history of our business, and it has felt very special to bring so many of our key team members together to mark the occasion.
“Metro Rod came from the ingenuity of our founder Gill who spotted a gap in the market for a drainage provider that could deliver. We’ve remained true to those values, continually identifying opportunities to capitalise, and as a result have gone from strength to strength, recently hitting revenues of £60m and creating a wealth of opportunities for our franchisees.
“Ours is a recession-proof business, meaning there are always new opportunities for us to expand our footprint and welcome on board new franchisees who share our passion for exemplary service. As such, there is a bright and prosperous future ahead. I hope whoever is in my position in another 40 years can look back on what we’re doing right now with the same pride I have for everything that’s come before today.”