The first corporate headquarters of one of the region’s leading construction firms has changed hands after being acquired to drive the ongoing expansion of a progressive commercial vehicles company.
The property in Geneva Way, Hull, was designed and built by Sewell Group in 1990 after the company finally decided that its original converted house was too tight a squeeze.
Now, the decision by Sewell Group to bring its teams together at its complex at the other end of Geneva Way has provided an expansion opportunity for another long-established East Yorkshire firm, Thompson Commercials Limited, which operates seven depots employing 170 people from Boston to Tyneside.
Paul Simpson, Managing Director of Thompson Commercials, was looking for offices close to the company’s headquarters at Salvesen Way, Hull, to expand his £50 million truck, trailer and van sales and leasing business. He changed his mind after being alerted to the opportunity at Geneva Way by Garness Jones chartered surveyors.
Paul, who joined the business 38 years ago as an apprentice mechanic, said: “I wanted to centralise various parts of the business including accounts, invoicing, sales admin and leasing and the plan was to do that near our Hull depot but then I saw this place.
“It looks brand new because they built it very well. It’s great value for money and the location is ideal for most of the 30 people who will be working here. It’s almost made to measure and it will be a good working environment for everybody, nicely decorated with plush furniture.
“It gives us another platform. We’ve got room here to bring in more people and if I achieve everything I want to achieve I could imagine us out-growing this in the next five years.”
Graham Atkins, Commercial Director of Sewell Group, said the company’s accounts, people and health and safety teams have all moved into the headquarters, which faces Leads Road. The investments and facilities management divisions have joined them, and the construction division is now under one roof in the adjoining Sewell Studio.
Graham said: “Years ago, we were in a converted house in Sutton village with a traditional builders’ yard at the back, and it was a huge decision at the time to move. But we bought the land at Geneva Way, put a road in and 27 years ago built an office and lived there for several years without any neighbours, slowly building up the business park down there.
“Now we have outgrown it. We had a dilemma about whether to do a full refurbishment but we also had the opportunity to do that with Geneva Court at the other end of Geneva Way. It’s a bigger footprint and we decided to put the old office on the market.”
Paul White, Agency Director of Garness Jones, said: “Thompson Commercials needed more space and their preference was to expand to a site close to their Hull depot alongside the A 63.
“We knew Geneva Way would offer a high-quality solution and Paul was convinced as soon as he saw it. The key for him was the opportunity to create a convenient, modern and stylish working environment for his staff. That’s an increasingly important consideration for employers and it is rewarded with higher productivity.”