Strength and conditioning equipment manufacturer BLK BOX has appointed Ben Stocks as managing director to help shape the future of one of Northern Ireland’s most exciting and fastest growing companies.
Ben will lead the organisation alongside entrepreneur Greg Bradley, who is now stepping into the “purposely ambiguous” role of founder.
Built on a passion to always demand more, BLK BOX has designed, manufactured and installed gym solutions for some of the biggest, most prestigious brands in the world.
Existing clients include Manchester United, Arsenal, PureGym, Loughborough University, Google, Nike and both Irish and Ulster Rugby.
The gym fit-out specialist also sells to individuals via its e-commerce site, capitalising on the increased demand from fitness enthusiasts choosing to train both at home as well as in the gym, a trend which continues to accelerate following the pandemic.
A chartered accountant and experienced senior executive, Ben said he relishes the chance to join forces with Greg, a trailblazer and leading light in the sporting and fitness industry.
“I have been working with Greg for over a year now, first in a non-executive capacity and now as managing director,” he said.
“During this time we have established a strong yin yang relationship, where our relative strengths and weaknesses are well complimented.
“The team has worked phenomenally hard to get to where we are now, building a robust foundation for strong and sustained future growth.
“We’ve got a brilliant team, we’ve got amazing clients and we’ve got an ambitious plan.
“Along with our passion, vision and enthusiasm, we also have the skills and experience to deliver so, I would say, let’s go change the world.”
BLK BOX has been on a steep upwards trajectory since its formation ten years ago, expanding its team and manufacturing premises to meet demand.
Just last year, it relocated to a new 140,000 sq ft manufacturing and distribution facility at Monkstown Industrial Estate in Newtownabbey in a £1m investment. That followed a £2m investment in November 2020 in laser-cutting equipment and a state-of-the-art automatic powder-coating line.
Ben, who was named the Institute of Directors (IoD) Northern Ireland Young Director of the Year in 2021, brings to his new role significant experience in commercial and financial leadership.
Previous roles included CEO of Lisburn-based medical equipment manufacturer Leckey from 2018 until January this year, where he facilitated the owner-founder to move to a non-executive chairman position.
During his time there, Ben negotiated the sale of the company to private equity-backed Sunrise Medical in August 2020.
Post-sale, he was promoted to the executive board of Sunrise Medical, assuming responsibility for the integration of Leckey and the ongoing leadership of the group’s enlarged paediatric rehab portfolio.
He also spent over four years at leading cycling ecommerce business, Chain Reaction Cycles, as Managing Director and, prior to that, Head of Strategy.
BLK BOX founder Greg said Ben had come on board at exactly the right time.
“Ben has been working with me as non-executive director for the last 12 months, during which time he has helped BLK BOX meet the demands of rapid growth and set in place a strategy that will see the company continue to expand globally,” he said.
“He has one of the sharpest minds I have met in business and brings a wealth of experience from his time at Chain Reaction Cycles and Leckey.
“I will still be heavily involved within the company, predominantly focusing on key relationships, strategy, brand and product. Together we are tremendously excited about the next chapter.”
PIC 1: (L to R) Greg Bradley, BLX BOX Founder, and Managing Director Ben Stocks.