A Hereford business has seen its turnover double since moving to the city’s Skylon Park – and sealed its success by being bought by oil giant BP.
A Hereford business has seen its turnover double since moving to the city’s Skylon Park - and sealed its success by being bought by oil giant BP.
GB Electrical and Building Services says the move to Hereford Enterprise Zone was a catalyst for its rapid growth which has seen it create 80 new jobs around the country and increase turnover to £15 million.
The company – the UK market leader in installing charging points for electric vehicles and which maintains a large estate of MoD properties – moved to a purpose-built 20,000sq ft base at Skylon last September.
Managing director Terry Pickering said the site – which cost less than £200,000 to buy and £1.2m to build – had already proved its worth by helping the company enjoy such rapid growth.
“We couldn’t have had the success we have had without moving to Skylon, and as a result of the deal with BP there is more rapid growth to come.”
The firm, which now employs 180 people nationwide including around 50 at Hereford, had outgrown its old Hereford city centre base and was desperate to move to a location with better transport links.
And the chance to move to a new custom-built HQ at Skylon meant it could invest in precisely the sort of office space, stores and the bespoke joinery facilities it needed, said Mr Pickering.
“We were able to build exactly what we wanted and, most importantly, move to a site with superb communication links. We used to have 40 vans a day getting caught up in traffic congestion in Hereford when we were at our old base, but now they can get straight out onto the relief road without any problems at all saving us time and money.
“Add to that the superb infrastructure here and the fact that our staff have all the space they need, and it has been a perfect move for us.”
“We were able to build exactly what we wanted and, most importantly, move to a site with superb communication links.”
The company received first-class help from the enterprise zone team throughout its move to Skylon. The simplified planning process, expert support and high-quality infrastructure made the move as straightforward as possible, said Mr Pickering.
“Anytime we did have a bit of a problem, the enterprise zone team were able to help us out and sort it in no time at all. The whole move went very smoothly, in fact I would say perfectly. Everybody has been extremely helpful and the results speak for themselves.”
It’s no coincidence that the move to Skylon has coincided with a period of huge growth for the company, which serves domestic, commercial and public sector customers. The move saw it double the size of its headquarters compared to its previous base and invest in state-of-the-art modern premises which provide the room and facilities to grow still further.
“We’ve worked closely with the team at Skylon Park to develop a footprint for the future that suits our business and underpins our plans for growth, which includes recruiting more staff,” said Terry.
“The sale of the business to BP means we are going to be going through another period of large expansion shortly, and the base we have here on Skylon Park gives us everything we need to make a success of the exciting future ahead.”
“The whole move went very smoothly, in fact I would say perfectly.”
Skylon Park’s prime location at the heart of the Midlands, the economic benefits of being an enterprise zone, and its reputation as a centre of high-tech innovation have all helped raise GB Electrical’s profile.
And the move has been good news for the wider economy, with the company using local businesses to supply services to drive its growth.
“One example is that we have been able to go to the local Volkswagen dealer and buy 70 new vans. That’s a considerable investment in the local economy,” said Terry.
“We are also looking to recruit new people locally all the time and using apprentices where we can, which is more good news for the city in general. None of this would have happened without the move to Skylon.”
The move to Skylon has helped drive a period of rapid growth for the company – with more to come.
It has been able to employ 80 new people at its bases around the country, seen its turnover soar and been so successful it has now been bought by BP.
“None of this would have happened had we not made the move to Skylon.”
“Our growth has doubled since we moved to Skylon because we have been able to create a bespoke headquarters custom-built to meet our expansion plans,” said Terry.
“Our location here means we are increasingly noticed in the market place and can expect more rapid growth as a result of the sale to BP. None of this would have happened had we not made the move to Skylon.”