Family-run Merritt & Fryers is celebrating 85 years of serving professional trades in Skipton this autumn.

Founded in 1935, the timber, building, plumbing, hardware and decorators’ merchants has remained in the family for three generations and is still located on the same 3.5 acres site, among former mill buildings near the centre of Skipton. 

Rachel Fryers, one of four original family descendants managing the firm, said: “The company started quite small but over the years we’ve grown to become a genuine success story for Skipton.

“We have listened to our customers for three generations to become award-winning builders’ merchants providing a complete one-stop shop".

The Merritt & Fryers offering includes a timber yard (overseen by Robert Fryers), building supplies, plumbing and heating department (under Andrew Merritt), ironmongery, hardware, garden and landscape supplies, and a DIY, tile showroom and decorating centre with wallpaper books to browse and paint-mixing to order.

The site also features a bespoke joinery and fitting service for doors, windows, staircases, outdoor furniture and specialist items, a stove showroom showcasing leading brands including ESSE, and an extensive bathroom showroom featuring more than 30 traditional and state-of-the-art displays at any one time.

The company is a key employer in the town, with 50 experienced sales staff, expert trades people, talented joiners, delivery drivers and office staff.

Merritt & Fryers is also a dedicated supporter of the local community, providing sponsorship to agricultural shows, cultural events and several sports clubs.

Director Rachel Fryers is newly appointed to the board of Skipton BID and is keen to champion the town’s sustainable development plans in that role.

Last year Merritt & Fryers won the ‘Lightside Showroom of the Year’ category of the Builders' Merchants Awards, for its innovative display and sales of decorating supplies. The business is now also championed by the Builders Merchants Federation as the face of best practice in training.