When it comes to accommodating a business, flexibility is often the key. And it has become a byword for Golden M Construction. Not only are the building units ideal for farmers wanting to shelter livestock, they can be adapted to provide permanent fixtures to house any type of business.

Set up in 1982 and based in the village of Hinton Waldrist, near Buckland, Golden M originally supplied buildings to farmers, chiefly those who specialised in pig-keeping, but also on a smaller scale to the dairy industry and for other livestock - including alpacas. Stabling for horses was also part of its range.

About seven years ago, however, pig production was in decline and a new company was formed, continuing some of the lines of the earlier one, but building on the original ideas to branch out into wider fields.

In these it is catering not only for agricultural needs but also for a wider range of industrial applications.

Managing director Matthew Hudson, has been involved with Golden M since its earliest days.

He has led the development process and has added new members to his team to further the expansion into developing markets.

Among his appointments over the past 18 months have been Maurice Shorter, as sales director, and Simon Davies, a consultant who works with farmers to advise them on systems to accommodate their pig-keeping operations.

Looking back over the various changes that have taken place, Mr Shorter said: "We restructured the business to be better able to cope with the different products that we sell and to give a better service to our customers.

"We have been able to place greater emphasis on developing these other areas of design."

From the basic design of a field shelter, a building can become enclosed to store farm machinery and doors can be added to make garaging, but it can also be produced in many other variations to suit the customer's needs.

As well as workshops, storage and offices, it can meet the demands of any other type of business accommodation.

Providing buildings for industry has offered the company some interesting commissions. A recent project was a series of hangars to house privately-owned small aircraft at a local airfield.

An IT training centre was another project. This tackled in a different way - providing a commercial facility for an industry very much of the 21st century by converting a building that was once an apple storage barn.

Golden M has a staff of more than 25, which includes six based at the offices at Welmore Farm, Hinton Waldrist, and another 20 involved in construction and installation.

For smaller buildings, the first stages of construction can be done at Welmore Farm but for larger installations most take place on site.

"We do all the groundwork, lay the services and erect the buildings and fit them out in whatever way the customer requires. There may also be fencing, or landscaping," said Mr Shorter.

Depending on the weather and other conditions, larger projects may take several weeks to complete.

The Welmore storage units, the basic design from which the larger accommodation can grow, are constructed with a 40mm box steel frame, with steel walls and a box section roof.

The cladding can be of timber, block or brick. Full insulation of roofs and walls is available to prevent condensation.

By linking units together it is possible to create larger structures capable of housing many types of business.

The interiors can be fitted out using high-quality materials to produce small offices, craft rooms, showrooms, etc.

The easily-moved field weatherproof shelters for livestock are of a similar construction and provide a clean, well-ventilated, fly-free environment for animals.

The flexible design allows internal partitions to be included. Stabling is equally flexible and adaptable to customer requirements; the individual boxes separated by full-height double-lined partitions.

With the industrial aspect of the company now well-established as an addition to its agricultural markets, there is once again change in the air, as farmers are reconsidering pig-keeping.

Once again, Golden M is preparing to take up any new opportunities this would bring.

"Being able to be adaptable has allowed the company to grow," said Mr Shorter.

Contact: 01367 870101