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Two rural property companies are to merge to form GSC Grays

GSC Chartered Surveyors, a successful rural practice and estate agency business and Gray’s Chartered Surveyors, who are strongly orientated towards estate and sporting management, are to merge. 

Each has built up a strong foothold in their heartland areas and by bringing together their expertise, they will provide a comprehensive service to land owners, agricultural businesses and those selling, buying and developing rural properties.

The new business, known as GSC Grays, will offer a range of professional services including property sales & lettings, rural consultancy, estate management, sporting, renewables, valuations & surveys, as well advising on planning and development matters.

The merger brings together around 35 staff based at offices in Barnard Castle, Hamsterley, Leyburn, Richmond, Stokesley and at the Earl of Durham’s estate office at Lambton Park, near Chester-le-Street.

The merger is a major step forward for these respected independent firms, which were established separately by their respective founders David Gray, the Chairman of GSC Grays and Guy Coggrave, who is the Managing Director of GSC Grays.

Guy Coggrave grew up on the family farm in North Yorkshire and established GSC in 2004, initially specialising in offering farm business advice. The opening of an office in Barnard Castle in 2005, combined with the arrival of Director David Cooper, enabled the business to expand into other sectors including estate agency and valuations and surveys. In 2010, GSC expanded further by acquiring Holmes and Rose in Stokesley and opening a new office in Leyburn, bringing a wider geographic territory encompassing County Durham, North Yorkshire and Teesside. The addition of the new offices coincided with the appointment of Director Chris Arundel.

David Gray, has over 25 years experience and was an equity partner and head of rural practice and estate management for a national firm of chartered surveyors before establishing his own business Gray’s Chartered Surveyors in 2005. The fifth generation of his family to manage the Earl of Durham’s estate, David, together with Finance Director of GSC Grays, Calum Gillhespy, developed their business from Hamsterley and Lambton before quickly opening an office in Richmond.

David explained: “We were at a point of being ready to take Gray’s forward and identified GSC as a company of like-minded people”.

“Whilst some of our expertise overlaps, we each bring established, complementary specialisms. We both work in the area of renewables, for instance; however GSC does a lot of agency and valuation work, whilst Gray’s are highly respected in the management world.”

Guy added: “The merger means our existing and future clients have access to a complete and comprehensive service. With a bigger team we can take on clients’ work in the confidence that we have the range of expertise to provide an excellent all-round service. Clients can draw on our broad range of high quality, professional advice delivered in a personalised way that is specific to their circumstances. In other words, whilst we are bigger we will always maintain the personal contact that people value.”

The other directors of GSC Grays are Phil Scott-Priestley and associate director Lucinda Clifford.

David Gray explained that the broadening of expertise and the development of the business is the motivation for the merger and he is looking forward to seeing the business take on more clients throughout the region and further afield.

He added: “GSC Grays combines age and experience with a highly motivated and ambitious young team.”

“It’s a very exciting prospect for all our staff who will have greater opportunities for training, promotion and personal development within the new business. It is definitely a merger focused on growth.”

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