North Yorkshire firm’s window of opportunity for Ripon Cathedral

Biker Group Managing Director Ben Biker and the Dean of Ripon, the Very Reverend John Dobson, outside Ripon Cathedral.
Biker Group Managing Director Ben Biker and the Dean of Ripon, the Very Reverend John Dobson, outside Ripon Cathedral.

One of the district's most beautiful, ancient churches has been given a major financial lift from a Leyburn-based business.

Since the Seventh Century, Ripon Cathedral has welcomed pilgrims, tourists and locals to the city but, like so many historic buildings, its stonework and features rely on an ongoing maintenance programme to keep it in a sound state.

When three timber windows fell into serious disrepair, Biker Group, a multi-faceted business with a leading bespoke joinery division, stepped in to do the work free of charge.

The Leyburn-based business manufactured and installed the three new windows to replace the ones in poor condition. Biker Group’s joinery division manufactures bespoke architectural joinery and carries out work on many of the North’s most prestigious churches, castles and stately homes.

Biker Group’s Managing Director Ben Biker said: “The old, rotten windows were in a state of disrepair and extremely unsightly.

“Initially, we were asked if we would be interested in undertaking the restoration work, but then actually offered to donate them to Ripon Cathedral as part of our company’s charitable work.

“We specialise in manufacturing joinery for period and listed buildings, and the cathedral is a landmark building that is an important part of the community.

“Ripon Cathedral isn’t just a place of worship, it’s a cultural, educational and social venue, which is the hub of the community, so it was a very worthwhile cause to support.

“The Cathedral relies on funding from English Heritage and donations from businesses like ourselves that want to give something back to the community.”

Biker Group manufactured and installed the new timber windows and Northallerton Glass donated the glass.

The Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson, said: “The new windows do much to smarten up a Cathedral property that was looking very sorry for itself.

“We are extremely grateful to the Biker Group and Northallerton Glass for their wonderful support with this project in providing the frames and glass and expert fitting.

“As a Cathedral, we are dependent upon the generous support of individuals and institutions across the region and beyond. This piece of helpful work shows that practical support and gifts in kind are immensely useful and make a big difference to our efforts to serve the people of this city and region.”

Biker Group provides a diverse range of services to the construction industry, including haulage, ground works, bespoke joinery, construction, waste management and concrete.

They recently opened a new depot in Dalton after a period of significant growth for Biker Group, which was established nearly 50 years ago by company chairman Tony Biker, who has been joined in the business by sons Matthew, Ben and Sam.

Expansion over the last four years has seen the company increase its workforce to 172 following the creation of 65 jobs and it has seen a 133% increase in annual turnover.