Family of West Midlands entrepreneurs take over successful Birmingham signage franchise

Fastsigns International Inc

A FAMILY of West Midlands-based entrepreneurs are set to shakeup the signage market in Birmingham, following their takeover of successful signage business, FASTSIGNS Birmingham.

The takeover of the organisation follows the departure of the centre’s previous owners, Martin and Janie Drury, who managed the business for 28 years.

Launched in 1994, and situated on Great Charles Street Queensway, the organisation is part of the FASTSIGNS franchise network, which currently has 23 centres operating in the UK and almost 800, globally.

Joining the franchisee network, following the Drury’s joint retirement, is the Gilpin family; made up of a father and two sons from Solihull.

As part of the new ownership, the trio will be looking to expand their team’s capabilities in design and production, as well as recruiting an additional sales resource, in line with their expansion plans.

Day-to-day operations are set to be spearheaded by Tom, a former salesperson with strong business credentials, having launched his first business at the age of just 14.

Tom joins the business with an established reputation in the West Midlands business community, having launched and continues to manage an existing landscaping business in Solihull and Knowle. Tom took the start-up business from grass-roots and has developed the business into a stable enterprise, employing eight workers.

Supporting Tom are his father, Nigel Gilpin, a qualified accountant and Jack, an experienced marketing professional.

Commenting on the new venture, Tom Gilpin, said:

“I’m delighted to be embarking on this new business adventure, particularly as the city of Birmingham is as invested in FASTSIGNS, as FASTSIGNS is invested in the city, having had a presence here for close to three decades.

“As a trio, we bring a wealth of experience to the franchise, and wider network; including marketing and customer service, sales and finance, all of which we hope will stand us in good stead to continue Martin and Janie’s work.

“Birmingham has a real authenticity to it; it’s got culture and pride and, most importantly, a strong business infrastructure. It’s a diverse city that’s full of independently-owned businesses, as well as some really big brand names – giving us ample opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of visual signage solutions across a range of disciplines.”

John Davies, managing director at FASTSIGNS UK, added:

“We’re proud to be welcoming new owners, Tom, Nigel and Jack Gilpin to the FASTSIGNS UK network – a family of entrepreneurs that have a stellar business background, and a genuine love for the Birmingham community.

“On a personal note, it has been hugely rewarding to see how Martin and Janie have developed the business over the last 28 years; overcoming various economic challenges and the onset of a global pandemic, each of which they have taken in their stride. They’ve been exemplary stewards of the Birmingham franchise since 1994, and I wish them both a relaxing and well-deserved retirement.

“I wish Tom and his team all the very best for this new venture, as they build on the centre’s strong foundations.”

For more information on FASTSIGNS Birmingham, visit

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