Garden furniture trade body aims for growth with Telford relocation

Telford has become the new home for the UK trade body for the garden furniture and barbecue industry, following a property deal arranged by Bulleys Bradbury.

The commercial property consultancy has helped the Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association (LOFA) to relocate from its former base in Hampshire to offices at Pemberton House, Stafford Park 1, Telford.

The organisation has around 83 distributing and manufacturing member companies across the UK and Ireland. It moved its offices from Waterlooville in Hampshire to Telford as a result of hiring Gina Hinde, from Bridgnorth, as its new marketing manager.

It has now taken a lease on the 1,087 sq ft Suite 7, on the first floor at Pemberton House.

Gina explained: “I am the only full-time employee of the association, supporting its ten council members, all company heads who are voted for by the wider membership. When I was given the job earlier this year the association said it would move the headquarters to be closer to where I live.

“Telford is also very central geographically for our membership and is on the doorstep for the SOLEX annual trade show that we run at the NEC every July.

“My husband and I went driving around Telford looking for office premises and the ones at Pemberton House were the nicest we found. We spoke to Richard Bradbury at the property agents, Bulleys Bradbury, and he was really helpful.

“The premises are quite similar to the ones we had in Hampshire, but with more space to grow. As well as promoting our wider industry, I aim to increase our membership over the next couple of years and that will mean taking on more staff to help,” Gina added.

Gina’s selection as LOFA’s new marketing manager was aided by her experience in the industry – she worked for around nine years at Hartman Outdoor Products in Telford, one of a number of garden furniture manufacturers based around the West Midlands.

LOFA was formed more than 50 years ago, in 1967, and its symbol on its members products acts as a mark of quality.

Richard Bradbury, director of Telford-based Bulleys Bradbury, explained that the offices had recently been renovated by the landlords.

He said: “We’re delighted to have found the right premises in Telford for LOFA’s new national headquarters and look forward to seeing the organisation, and the industry it supports, continue to expand over the coming years.

“Pemberton House is the ideal base for a growing national trade association and is well placed near Telford Centre and the railway station as well as offering easy access to the M56 and the wider motorway network.

“We have several other offices under offer at present with more announcements due shortly.”

Bulleys Bradbury arranged the letting of Site 7 to LOFA on behalf of the landlord Peer Group based on the quoted annual rent of £6,794.

Elliott Brighton, commercial leasing manager, Peer Group, said: “This letting adds to a number of new lettings to the scheme, following Bulleys Bradbury’s appointment, which has proven there is strong demand for office space of this size and location. LOFA strengthen an already strong tenant mix in the scheme and I’m certain this move will help them to grow at the heart of the country.”