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A Grade ll listed 400 year-old barn transformed into an exclusive wedding venue is playing host to a Ruby Anniversary bash with a difference this month [May].

The 40th Birthday party is for St Neots-based chartered surveying and planning firm Barford + Co, which first opened its doors in May 1974, and recently helped The Thatch Barn secure planning for its refurbishment, which is now an award-winning English Heritage barn.

Founding members of the company will gather at the celebration and will be joined by clients, colleagues and business leaders, with a special exhibition revealing to guests the long history of the company.

During their four decades in business, Barford + Co has worked with over 3000 companies and consulted on some of the most prestigious and well-known developments in the local area, including the soon to be opening Cineworld cinema in St Neots.

Founder David Barford, who is still involved with the company today, reflects on how the business and indeed the area have changed over the past 40 years. David, who is a Consultant for Barford + Co, said: “When l started D H Barford + Co all those years ago, things were very different. There was just me with some part time secretarial support and it was a long time before the advent of the internet and emails, so everything was still typed on a typewriter and posted. In 1980 I was joined by Ivor Watson.

“Now, there are 12 employees in the firm including three Directors, plus myself as Consultant, and the business has moved on significantly from its beginnings in the mid 1970s. It’s a huge achievement to have reached our 40th Anniversary and l’m looking forward to celebrating with all of the people we have met and worked with over the years.”

Partners Sheila Smyth, Martin Page and Philip Halmshaw have all been with Barford + Co for over 20 years and remember the Silver 25th Anniversary celebrations in the late 1990s. Philip Halmshaw said: “Our 40th Anniversary is a significant milestone in the company’s history and we wanted to make sure to mark it in style by holding a special party for colleagues, clients, business associates and friends.

“When David Barford set up the company in 1974, he quickly made a name for himself in high profile development projects. It is pleasing that 40 years on, Barford + Co continues to operate at the forefront of the local commercial property scene. We have been involved in a recent hat-trick of successes in Huntingdon – the new Sainsbury’s store, the Lidl site and the sale of the Old Post Office to J D Wetherspoon. We also introduced Morrisons to our clients at St Ives, where planning permission has just been obtained for a food store. And on the residential front, we have concluded two high profile sales within the last couple of weeks – on behalf of DHL, the national logistics chain, we sold the 2.78 acre Inside Track site at St Neots and in Cambridge, and the former Priory Motors site at Mill Road for the Co-operative Group, where developer McLaren intends to build a scheme of student housing ”.

As well as Barford + Co celebrating its 40th Anniversary, this month the first cinema in the town for 46 years is set to open its doors with Barford + Co acting as joint agent for this development which will boast a six-screen Cineworld cinema and four restaurants, and will help attract more people in to the town.

For more information on Barford + Co please visit www.barfords.co.uk

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