THE former boss of a successful packaging company with a £13 million turnover has retired after more than 30 years in the business.

David Pedley stepped down from GWP Group after Macfarlane Packaging purchased the company in March.

He said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at GWP - and am incredibly proud of everything we have achieved – but feel that now is the right time to step down.

“The hardest part is that I am really going to miss the people - pretty much all of my peers in the industry. I’ve made great friends amongst suppliers, competitors and obviously colleagues. I’ll miss the challenge of big projects and winning new contracts but, most of all, the people.”

Having founded Great Western Packaging - as it was then known - in August 1991, the business was initially based in a spare bedroom and employed only a handful of staff.

David added: “At the start, we were all working extremely hard, 14 hours a day, 7 days a week.

"We would often be getting into work very early in jeans and t shirts, working in the factory on production, then putting on a collar and tie and going out to meet customers during the day.

"Then we would be back in the factory, often working late into the evening. And then do it all again the following day.

“Even though it was very hard work, it was enormous fun, and to see the business grow the way it did has been hugely rewarding. In saying that, probably my happiest memory was day one, standing in an empty factory at Lynton Road in Cheney Manor when we first started.”

Now based in Cricklade and Salisbury, the company quickly grew to more than 100 employees across two specialist manufacturing facilities.

The business has been featured on BBC Two, won Wiltshire Business of the Year and Starpack industry awards, been honoured with a royal visit, and commissioned an art exhibition made entirely from cardboard to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

New managing director Ruth Cook said: "David has lived and breathed GWP. Having been alongside him since day one, I have seen first-hand the drive, commitment, and acumen he brought to the company.

"When many would have sat back and celebrated the success of the business, David would always be out looking for the next step forward. He has been - and continues to be - an inspiration for me.

“On behalf of everyone here at GWP, we wish him a long and happy retirement to enjoy his passions - sailing, travel and spending quality time with his family.”