YORKSHIRE-based GSM Group which employs 500 people and turns over £50 million is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its founding company in Thirsk.

GSM Graphic Arts employs more than 60 people in its manufacturing and supply operation providing nameplates and fascias to customers across the globe.

The business started life in 1974 in Guisborough, but due to expansion was forced to move and took ownership of the site it currently occupies in Castlegarth, Thirsk.

Founded in 1974 by Barry Dodd and Geoff Collier, GSM Graphic Arts and the GSM Group now employ more than 500 people in the UK, Germany and the USA, and supply many bluechip and automotive companies such as; Jaguar, Land rover and Siemens.

With a current order book of £266 million, the Group's projected turnover for 2015 is to be £50 million.

Mr Dodd, now GSM Group chairman, and recipient of a CBE in the Queens 2014 News Years honours list for services to the regional economy and voluntary work, said: "Each GSM Company has a superb and highly competent team. The honour should go to them because their competence enables me to spend some time on voluntary activities including chairing public institutions.

"We are extremely grateful to the people of Thirsk and surrounding areas for their fantastic support over the last 40 years and we look forward to a long and exciting future in the region."

Over its four decades in operation GSM Graphic arts has developed its site into a modern factory, housing cutting edge machinery while not losing sight of its rural location.

The GSM Group has committed to the continual training and personal development of its employees, and as such has seen low turnover of staff, with a number of team members staying with the business for more than 20 years, some of which will reach 30 years service in 2015.

Mr Dodd's voluntary activities outside the GSM Group include, for which he was awarded the CBE, include being chairman of the University of Hull, chairman of Hull York Medical School and chairman of the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership. He is also a member of the UK Automotive Council.