This had been an issue for the Swift Group over the years. Our two sites at Cottingham were giving us capacity and access problems. Historically the only routes to and from our sites for all our employees, materials and finished caravans was directly through Cottingham or the narrow lane through Dunswell village. Neither of these routes was suitable for heavy goods vehicles.
A number of years ago, we had the opportunity to develop the Cottingham site by creation of a new junction on to the nearby A1079. This provided a significantly improved access to our site and provide us with further land and hence the capacity to expand the business in the future.
As we are caravan manufacturers, we did not have the skills to bring forward a project on this scale. We talked with a number of different people including Horncastle Group.
Andrew’s team had all the land and property expertise along with the project management skills we required together with local knowledge of the area and its challenges. So together with Andrew, we assembled a wider project team and began to develop our plans.
Obtaining all the necessary local support and approvals involved a lot of time and hard work for both Andrew and our small team at Swift, the planning process taking several years. But finally we received consent to build a new roundabout junction, to alter certain other highway points, to close an existing public road, to redevelop our former gate 1 site for residential and to expand the larger gate 2 site to allow for our productive expansion and much greater future capacity.
We then engaged Andrew and his team once more to oversee the civil engineering project and the disposal of the residential site to a house builder, finally to handover the new roads and infrastructure to the local authority.
Horncastle understand and have experience in production and manufacturing businesses and that makes them uniquely able to help others. We could not have completed this project without the assistance of Horncastle Group. We would have no hesitation in recommending them to other growth businesses where property problems are limiting growth potential.
This arrangement was becoming unhelpful and proving to be inefficient, which led us to fully review our property requirements with the future strategy for growing our business. I was given responsibility internally to lead our search for the best location and building design solution.
We had been aware of Horncastle Group and I was introduced to their Managing Director, Ian Hodges. Ian listened to us and went away to prepare some proposals and options, which he then presented back. We were encouraged to carefully consider our space requirements, including giving detailed thought to future expansion space. To help with this process Horncastle introduced us to Alex Jenneson, a young and local specialist in interior design and space planning with his company, Red Frog Design.
A number of building and interior designs were presented to us and after a period of time and several iterations, we arrived at a proposal that we felt exactly met our needs.
We then entered into an agreement to purchase land and a new building from Horncastle at their site, the Beacon. The Horncastle team proceeded to obtain all of the necessary planning consents and went out to tender for the building and fit out work. We instructed Alex and his team at Red Frog Design to develop the interior scheme and they were then commissioned to supply that.
Horncastle involved us at every stage, helping us ensure we received the best value. Work started on the site in April 2013 and the turnkey completed building was handed over to us on time and on budget in January 2014.
The whole process from start to finish was dealt with by Ian and the team at Horncastle in a highly professional manner, with the keenest eye on ensuring we, the clients, received the very best service.
Where possible, both CHCP CIC and Horncastle have placed the work with local contractors and suppliers, to ensure the most positive impact on the local economy.
We would have no hesitation in recommending Horncastle to other businesses with property and space issues affecting their growth opportunities.
Space matters in so many ways and can have such a positive impact on your business.
At all times they have been prepared to listen and work with us, helping us to quickly upsize or downsize depending on our circumstances. Helping us grasp opportunity and deal with problems more in a spirit of partnership than the common and more traditional landlord and tenant relationship of the past.
We share a great respect for each other and I think it also helps that the Horncastle team have a long experience in operating trading and manufacturing businesses, which gives them uniqueness as a property provider and landlord.
For a growth business like ours, flexibility is paramount.
Property and premises are so important to businesses today as competition increases and cost efficiency is under continuous scrutiny. Horncastle stand out as a property provider who listens, understands and then works with you in a mutual effort to exploit opportunities and grow wealth.