A BURNLEY businessman has definitely not forgotten his roots despite building up a multi-million pound furniture company from scratch.
Just two decades ago Mr Jason Bannister was a 16-year-old golfing enthusiast spending all his time at Towneley Golf Club.
He is now the owner and managing director of hardwood furniture retailer Oak Furniture Land and has recently relocated the overseas operation division of his business to Rosegrove with plans to open a showroom in the area within the next three years.
Brought up in Brunshaw, Jason left Barden High School and spent several years working for B&Q in Nelson before entering the furniture industry with a job at Walmsleys.
He left Burnley in 1996 when he was offered the role as area manager in the South-West.
Seeing a gap in the market, Jason invested in a single container of solid hardwood furniture and began selling on eBay. In just two years, he became eBay UK’s largest retailer by turnover in 2006, and decided to launch the stand alone website Oakfurnitureland.co.uk.
He now employs more than 250 staff and the company has been recognised for the second year running by The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 – a prestigious league table of the top 100 fastest growing companies in the UK.
Mr Bannister said: “I have many fond memories of growing up in Burnley. As well as golf, I was huge a supporter of Burnley FC and remember going to watch my first game in 1974 with my grandad – in fact, I can still remember the score being a 1-1 draw with Chesterfield.
“I regularly visit Burnley as my mum and sister still live on the same street. We’ve recently relocated a division of the business to Rosegrove, off Liverpool Road and have plans to open a showroom here – which will give me even more reasons to visit.”