A clock company which sells its wares to leading stores such as Selfridges and John Lewis has moved into new premises amid growing demand.
Newgate Clocks, based in Oswestry, found itself looking for a new, larger base to cope with the calls for its vintage-inspired timepieces.
Jim and Chloe Read, who own and run the 18-year-old business, were initially hampered in their search by a lack of suitable or available buildings until they came across a disused warehouse, previously leased to Laura Ashley.
The 20,000 sq ft unit met the company’s requirements but needed a lot of work doing to it before they could move in.
As the building had been standing disused for a number of years, the office build and warehouse refurbishment came at a considerable cost.
But the couple discovered the building was eligible for support through the Rural Regeneration Zone’s Redundant Buildings Grant (RBG) scheme and it was this grant which persuaded them to go ahead and buy the property. The RBG scheme provided £62,000 towards the £250,000 project.
The company moved into the new premises last September and the opening took place last week.
Managing director Jim Read said: “We needed to find a new larger and more glamorous building for our company to cope with existing business, to be able to operate more efficiently and to create the capacity needed for growth.
“And with a real shortage of land for industrial and commercial building in Oswestry, the only option was a tired old 20,000 sq ft industrial unit that we didn’t really have the appetite to tackle,” he added.
“But when we realised the building was eligible for grant support from RBG, it gave us the confidence and added incentive to buy the building and refurbish it.
“RBG has been fantastic at every step of the way and our building is now finished and looks stunning.
“Isn’t it fantastic to get financial assistance to refurbish old industrial buildings and rejuvenate the older industrial estates, rather than destroying more green fields to build more metal buildings?”
Jim and Chloe set up the business when they were in their late teens and early 20s.
It began when they decided to unleash their entrepreneurial spirit and frame old postcards to make a living.
They were both brought up in the world of antique dealing, and the pair believe they have inherited a natural flare for style and business.
Recognising the demise of classic and vintage designs, the business quickly transformed and Newgate Clocks was established.
They spotted a gap in the market and began making reproduction clocks, tapping into support from the Manufacturing Advisory Service – West Midlands.
The business has quickly grown over the years, now supplying clocks to the most prestigious department stores in the UK, including Selfridges, The John Lewis Partnership, The Conran Shop, Debenhams, and Heals ,as well as several hundred independent boutique home stores.
Newgate’s clocks are also exported to blue chip department stores in the USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and Greece.
RBG programme manager Caroline Cattle said: “Newgate is a high-value added business and the move to this new HQ will be a major boost for them.
“Just as importantly, a disused warehouse has been brought into productive use, supporting the creation and safeguarding of jobs in the area,” she added.