History

110 YEARS OF NEW CHALLENGES, AND COUNTING

The NBT Group is a family-run business with a long heritage of innovation, creativity and disruption, which forms the heart of its current vision and values.

The company was originally founded in 1908 in Newcastle as Adolph Albrecht & Co.

Brothers Adolph and Sidney Albrecht, economic migrants from The Netherlands, came from their family fur trading business in The Hague. The business focus was on managing the supply of furs from North America to Europe over numerous centuries before. Upon their arrival in Newcastle, the brothers set up a new venture as an electrical supplies company for the city’s tram system.

In 1912 the company was renamed to the North British Engineering and Equipment Company, and ran successfully through both the First and Second World Wars with the support of Sidney’s wife Lillian, who took over the business after his death in 1951.

In the 1960’s, Lillian continued to chair the Company while her daughter Rene took over managing the business alongside her two sisters. By this point, the region’s tram network was in decline, and Lilian and Rene moved the business into new areas, focussing on supply chain services and electricals for the North East mining industry. She managed the business successfully until the mining turmoil of the 1970’s forced another round of innovation.

This time, it was Rene’s son, Mike who took on the role of changemaker, identifying an opportunity to move into the supply of 3M adhesive tapes, at first for packaging and later expanding into a wide range of high-tech applications for manufacturers in the North East, particularly those making cookers, fridges, televisions and other white goods. To reflect this new direction, the company name was changed to North British Tapes Ltd, and in the late 1990’s Mike also set up a separate company, Preline Ltd, in Edinburgh, providing tapes and adhesives to the Scottish market.

In 2008, current CEO Toby Bridges took over the company’s management from his father. Faced with the relocation of much of the North East’s manufacturing industry to China, as well as the 2008 recession, Toby took on the task of once more evolving NBT as a business, just as previous generations of his family had done before.

Through conversations with clients, Toby identified the core value that NBT delivered to its customers – not just the supply of tape products, but the provision of a service that made running their businesses easier. From there, NBT moved into supply chain management as a core competency, and in 2014 acquired Evolution MRO to support the growing business with a range of technology services to drive further innovation in their customer relationships.

Today, even with national and international growth, The NBT Group retains its proud North East heritage and strong family values, with a strong network of companies united by a common goal of helping businesses improve, each and every day.

“Each day at The NBT Group is different. There is always future progression to work towards and it is an honour to be a part of the company’s success.

The team made me feel welcome from day one, the atmosphere is great on both a friendly and  professional level”

Gemma Collins, Supply Service Administrator at The NBT Group