Business management

Family Business Week: how GAP Group supports local communities across the UK

The third generation of this family-run business is remaining true to its founder’s community spirit.

Established in 1969, GAP Group is the UK’s largest independent hire company and provides a broad range of equipment from more than 175 locations throughout the UK. It employs more than 2,000 people and has diversified from its traditional plant and tool hire to provide a multi-service offering with 10 divisions.

While the operations may have evolved, however, its charitable culture has endured, having been instilled in the business by founder Gordon Anderson. As a leader he espoused integrity, passion and teamwork, and these values underpin everything from GAP’s business operations to its commitment to staff and local communities.

“As a family business, we strongly believe in supporting our employees and the communities in which they live, and do this in several ways,” explains Karen.

This approach includes three main foundations.

GAP Giving charitable foundation

GAP Giving was created in 2015 and gives 0.5% of GAP Group’s profits to charity each year. So far it has donated more than £600,000 to more than 600 charities across the UK. Any GAP employee can nominate a charity they feel is deserving or that may have helped them, their family or their friends in the past.

In the 2020/21 financial year, GAP Giving donated £110,000 to 96 different UK charities, including the Trussell Trust, the Scottish Association for Mental Health, Beatson Cancer Charity and many more.

GAP Match scheme

Additionally, GAP Giving supports GAP Match and a charity of the month scheme, with the foundation matching employees’ funds raised for charity. Various charities have benefited including Maggie’s, the Mental Health Foundation, Blue Skies Hospitals Fund and Cancer Research UK.

Youth Team Sponsorship scheme

GAP Group has supported several local community groups via its Youth Team Sponsorship scheme. It’s been running for five years and in that time has supported youth teams across the country, enabling young players to train and develop their potential. Each team is supported up to the value of £1,000 and is free to determine how the money is used, whether to buy sports kits, training kits or tracksuits, for example, or even to pay tournament entry fees.

These teams include:

  • Boldmere St Michaels FC – under-14s football team
  • Bronte Barbarians ARLFC – under-14s rugby team
  • AC Falkirk 2008s – under-15s football team
  • Isla Thistle FC – under-12s football team
  • Leicester Lions Speedway Team – speedway racing
  • Leon Henderson Racing – junior kart racing
  • Newmains United FC – football team
  • Rayleigh Harriers – under-11s football team
  • Rhos Aelwyd FC – under-7s football team
  • Thatto Heath Crusaders – under-13s rugby team
  • Waterhead Warriors ARLFC – under-11s rugby team


“Our Youth Team Sponsorship scheme has been a great success over the past five years,” says Karen. “It’s fantastic to watch their progress throughout the season, enjoying the engagement we have with each team across the country.”

A sustainable family business

Being focused on reducing its environmental impact, GAP’s vision is to be the UK’s most innovative and environmentally sustainable hire solutions provider. As such, GAP invests heavily in innovative eco-products and green technologies. The group proactively works with its suppliers to develop greener products, and advises its customers on best practice and how to implement environmentally friendly processes. GAP Group has committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions throughout its operations by 2040.

Established in 1969 by Gordon Anderson, the company is still family-owned and is run by sons Douglas and Iain. The third generation of the family are now involved in senior roles within the business.


A version of this article was first published on familybusinessweek.co.uk.

Family Business Week (21 – 25 November) is a celebration of family businesses as a force for good. Whether you’re a family business owner, employee or adviser, or a policymaker, there are plenty of ways to get involved and show your support for Family Business Week.

This material is published by NatWest Group plc (“NatWest Group”), for information purposes only and should not be regarded as providing any specific advice. Recipients should make their own independent evaluation of this information and no action should be taken, solely relying on it. This material should not be reproduced or disclosed without our consent. It is not intended for distribution in any jurisdiction in which this would be prohibited. Whilst this information is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by NatWest Group and NatWest Group makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) of any kind, as regards the accuracy or completeness of this information, nor does it accept any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage arising in any way from any use made of or reliance placed on, this information. Unless otherwise stated, any views, forecasts, or estimates are solely those of NatWest Group, as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Copyright © NatWest Group. All rights reserved.

scroll to top