A TEESDALE company which designed and developed the revolutionary Roundhouse agricultural building has received its first orders from mainland Europe.

Roundhouse Building Solutions Ltd (RBSL), a subsidiary of Barnard Castlebased S&A Fabrications, has now erected one on a farm in Nimsreuland, Germany, and another in Kessel, The Netherlands.

The German farmer was attracted by the innovative building’s welfare friendly nature, excellent ventilation, and because beef animals grow faster when housed in it and thus cost less to rear. He also wanted to be the first to have a Roundhouse on the continent.

RBSL has now sold almost 60 Roundhouses – including one in Ireland – since first marketing them in 2006 and more are in the pipeline.

Geoff Simpson, managing director of S&A and RBSL, said: “As a business we used to mainly trade in and around the North of England, then we started to sell nationally, and now we’re into Europe too.”

The Roundhouse is becoming increasingly popular among farmers as they see the benefits it brings to rearing livestock.

Mr Simpson said: “It is fair to say that a lot of farmers sat back for a few years or so after we launched it to see how it would go, and whether it would be a ‘here today gone tomorrow’ building.

“But it has not only lived up to its expectation it has exceeded it, and sales are increasing every year. I have every confidence that we will be selling and erecting more in the UK and on the continent.”

On a local level the original Roundhouse, and the recently launched larger version, the R45, have helped to keep the S&A business busy through the recession.

“When it has been quiet on the conventional building front we have been busy making Roundhouses, knowing that we have orders in the pipeline,” he said.

“Designing the R45 also took a lot of time, as, although it is the same shape, the internal steel work and roof are designed differently.

“They say innovation keeps a business moving forward, and it has definitely been the case with us.”