A WELL-known Dorset business has seen a subsidiary taken over in a management buyout.

Drewlec Ltd – the electrical and fire safety arm of Drewitt Group – is now in the ownership of manager Nick Hand.

Drewlec was formed in 1964 as part of the Drewitt Group, which was then mainly a building group with a history going back to 1877.

The buyout, which involved the purchase of all Drewlec shares, sees Mr Hand take on the company as a separate entry from the Drewitt Group, which remains in the control of siblings Richard and Gillian Drewitt.

Richard and Gillian Drewitt said in a statement: “As with any family-run business, succession planning starts almost as soon as the new generation takes over from the last.

“It became clear that the right decision for the future success of Drewlec was to look outside of the Drewitt family, handing over the firm to someone who understands and represents the strong family values established over the years.

“Nick began his career at Drewlec as a trainee contracts manager in 2011 and has progressed through the ranks of the firm.

“The inevitable career progression for him was to lead the firm, and we are delighted to be able to hand Drewlec to someone who has been so integral to the company’s recent success.”

In pictures: the company behind some of Bournemouth’s most iconic buildings

The Drewitt Group was started as a father-and-son painting and decorating operation by Charles Henry Drewitt and Charles James Drewitt. It went on to construct some of the area’s best-known buildings, including the Pier Theatre, the re-built Beales in Bournemouth and the Mallard Road bus depot.

The Drewitt Group ceased to be a builder during hard economic times in 1984, leaving its building maintenance arm, plumbing and heating business and Drewlec.

It has been led by Richard and Gillian Drewitt for more than 30 years.

There will be no change to the workforce following the management buyout and the business will still be based at Drewitt House on Ringwood Road, Bournemouth, where it has been based for more than 50 years.

Richard Drewitt said: “Nick is a long-serving member of the team and under his stewardship and ownership Drewlec will retain the Drewitt ethos and values that have underpinned the business since the beginning.

“He is experienced at the helm and will guide the company on the next phase of its journey. We wish him every success in the future.”

Nick Hand said: “I’m delighted to be leading Drewlec. We have a great team, fantastic client base and a very resilient business. As far as our customers and staff are concerned, it’s business as usual with our focus remaining on providing exceptionally high levels of customer service underpinned by the core family values established by the Drewitts.

“I am looking forward to continuing the progress we make, focusing on future improvements and driving sustainability.”

The company has recently won a major contract with Dorset County Hospital which will see the installation of an Advanced MX5 Pro fire alarm system across the whole site.