John Truslove lighting the way for FW Thorpe’s growth

Ben Truslove, a director of John Truslove

Redditch lighting group FW Thorpe has taken nearly 20,000 sq ft of extra space in the town for one of its thriving businesses.

In a deal arranged by property agents John Truslove, it has purchased Heming Point, Claybrook Drive, on the Washford Industrial Estate.

The unit was formerly owned by logistics company Avon Freight Group which itself recently announced a £3.5 million expansion in Redditch – also brokered by John Truslove.

Avon Freight Group agreed a ten-year lease on 50,000 sq ft Unit 2, Acanthus Park, the first speculative Grade A industrial unit to be built in the local area since the 2008 recession.

For FW Thorpe, which has its main base at Merse Road, North Moons Moat, the acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, comes on the back of impressive results for the 2015/16 financial year – revenue ahead 20.9 per cent at a new high of £88.9 million and pre-tax profits of £16.3 million, up from £14.4 million in the previous 12 months.

The company, whose brands include Thorlux Lighting, Compact Lighting, Philip Payne, Portland Lighting, Solite, TRT Lighting, and Netherlands-based Lightronics, employs nearly 600 people.

Heming Point, built in 2004, sits on a 1.5-acre site, comprising 19,720 sq ft inclusive of a main warehouse with attached two storey office block, and there is lapsed planning for an 8,000 sq ft extension.

FW Thorpe financial director and company secretary Craig Muncaster said it would become the new home of TRT Lighting, the firm’s road and tunnel arm, which will be transferring from Target Park in Redditch.

Work is underway at the complex and it is hoped the subsidiary will be fully operational on the new site in the summer, covering manufacturing, testing and development facilities, a showroom and administration functions.

Mr Muncaster said: “TRT Lighting was a start-up some years ago, and this will give it 50 per cent more space.

“The site is suitable to be expanded over time so this provides opportunities into the future.

“The aim is for TRT Lighting to become a stand-alone operation but meantime it makes sense for it to be close to our headquarters so it can access the expertise to help it grow.

“The move should result in new jobs in the future.”

Ben Truslove, a director of John Truslove, who advised Avon Freight Group on the sale, said the premises had gone for above the asking price of £1.9 million.

He noted: “It is a large site, conveniently located and ideal for FW Thorpe’s requirements.

“The company continues to go from strength to strength and is one of the ‘shining lights’ of the Redditch manufacturing sector.

“It is fantastic to see it performing so well.”

On its Acanthus Park move, Avon Freight Group, which offers global storage and distribution, retained its refurbished head office at 80,000 sq ft Unit 29 Heming Road but decided Heming Point was surplus to requirements.

Acanthus Park was brought to market by specialist commercial property developer Hamdon Gate. It involved an initial 150,000 sq ft facility subsequently let to logistics firm AMCO Services (International) Ltd with Unit 2 following on.