Contract & Design Office



Many of the team have worked for Benchmark for over twenty years having started as apprentices and the average length of service of the whole company is over 10 years so we're a close knit and friendly team having grown up together. Each day, tools are downed and we share a simple lunch together. Socialising events include cricket matches in the summer, lively Christmas parties, impromptu celebrations and weekend adventures.


Terence Conran: Terence is internationally renowned as a retailer, having founded Habitat and the Conran Shop, and as a leading designer and restaurateur. Less well known is that he started his career as a furniture manufacturer with the launch of Conran Furniture so he was returning to his roots when he co-founded Benchmark in 1984 with Sean Sutcliffe.

the team

Sean Sutcliffe: Sean trained as a designer and furniture maker before starting the small studio workshop from which Benchmark has grown. Over twenty years he has built up a respected team of craftsmen as well as one of Britain's most technically advanced furniture workshops. Sean is an outspoken proponent of sustainable timber sourcing and the regeneration of the British furniture industry.

Steven Huzzey: Steven joined Benchmark in 1989 as a 15-year-old apprentice in the workshop and has worked his way up to director and Sean's right hand man. He has an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the manufacturing and installation processes and extensive contacts among suppliers of materials and services.

Steve Cooper: Before joining Benchmark in 2005, Steve was Factory Manager for Parker Knoll having started as an apprentice at 15, working his way up through all parts of the business. He brings a wealth of manufacturing experience and outstanding team leadership skills.

Steven Owens: Steven started his career as an engineering apprentice with GKN Westland Aerospace before going to University to study design. It was there he found a passion for furniture and joined Benchmark a few years after graduating. In his 10 years at Benchmark Steven has risen to Head of Design and Managing Director of the furniture range and has been instrumental in driving the growth of new business.