Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…KINGMOOR PARK IS GOING FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTHPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Saturday, October 1st 2015
Planning for the future: James Francis, Managing Director, and Mike Armstrong, General Manager, of Kingmoor Technical Services.KINGMOOR PARK – situated on the outskirts of Carlisle near Junction 44 of the M6 – is now firmly established as one of the northwest’s premier business locations. Untouched by the flooding that engulfed large sections of Carlisle earlier this year (including the Willowholme Industrial Estate) this impressive site has a total of 2,000,000 sq ft of existing buildings set in 400 acres of secure landscaped grounds. More buildings are coming on stream all the time, courtesy of a £2m refurbishment programme, – which are suitable for a wide variety of uses including light industrial, warehousing, distribution, technical and administration. Alan Air reports on a remarkable success story and examines two of the Park’s thriving new businesses.
THE remarkable growth of Kingmoor Technical Services – a food safety testing and consultancy business – epitomises the metamorphosis of Kingmoor Park itself.
Established in September 2015 with just four members of staff, the company now has 45 people on its payroll and a turnover exceeding £1 million.
“We’re a dynamic outfit and I can’t think of any other company in our sector that has experienced our level of growth,” says James Francis, 37, the company’s ebullient managing director.
Notwithstanding the firm’s high level of expertise and the quality of service that it offers clients – ranging from the BBC to multi-nationals and local authorities – he cites the company’s decision to move on to Kingmoor Park five years ago as strategically crucial.
“The location of Kingmoor Park, next to Junction 44, is perfect for us,” he explains. “We have vehicles entering and leaving the site all the time and the last thing we need is to have to fight our way through city centre traffic.”
Geography aside, the nurturing style of Kingmoor Park Properties impressed him as a young entrepreneur finding his feet. “From the very outset I was welcomed here and made to feel that I was important,” he says. “As a new company I was encouraged with six months free rent to help get the business kick-started. Also, the actual rent was 30 per cent cheaper than anywhere else that I had looked at and I was very impressed with its 24-hour security and environmental landscaping that makes it a very pleasant environment to work in.”
Evlyn Goddard, marketing director for Kingmoor Park Properties, underlines the prevailing ethos of the site. “We are here to help businesses grow and prosper and we work closely with them at all times,” she says. “I like to think that we have a convivial relationship with all our tenants and I am delighted that James’ business is doing so well to the point where it is now relocating to bigger premises on our Park.”
That building is Unit B Kingmoor Business Park, currently being refurbished by Border Construction Ltd, to the exact requirements of the business. “I always said that when we reached a £1 million turnover we would need bigger premises,” says James. “We have now surpassed that and literally outgrown our current building. Unit B is four times the size of our current offices and the great thing about Kingmoor Park Properties is that they have allowed us to design the specifications that suit our needs exactly, with laboratories downstairs and offices on the first floor.”
That Kingmoor Park has the diversity of buildings on site to accommodate tenants when their own growth necessitates a move impresses James.
“Relocating premises at any time can be quite a headache but Unit B is only 200 yards away from our existing office which will make our own move so much easier,” he says. Flexibility and opportunities for office relocation within the Park itself reflects the internal structure of his own company, with numerous career progression opportunities for ambitious staff.
“As a Londonn born and bred I’m proud to be able to say that I’ve recruited locally over the last five years and promoted from within,” he says. “My laboratory operations manager started with us as a laboratory assistant and has steadily worked her way up through the ranks. We are a dynamic company on a dynamic Park and people get rewarded.”
Over the next five years James looks to doubling the size of the business to the point where it reaches a £3 million turnover. “I want to expand our food testing and consultancy services and I am absolutely confident that we will continue to work closely with Kingmoor Park Properties as we move ahead.”
Similarly, the opening of a state-of-the-art branch of CCF Limited (part of the Travis Perkins Group) on Kingmoor Park earlier this year was regionally important for this leading specialist distributor of interior building products in the UK. “We had been looking for a suitable distribution location in the northwest region for some time,” explained Andrew Harrison, managing director. “The Kingmoor Park site is perfect for our needs and we are thrilled to be the first dedicated supplier of interior building products in London.”
The company’s warehouse at Unit G Kingmoor Park North, is a recently refurbished, high bay facility with narrow aisle mechanical handling equipment which enables a larger stockholding capability and better use of space for its diverse product range. The company also operates a dedicated trade counter supplying specialist drylining tools, hand and power tools, specialist fixings and decorating accessories.
CCF Limited, which has a nationwide network of branches, stocks drylining, insulation, suspended ceilings, fire protection and partitioning products from leading manufacturers such as British Gypsum, Knauf, LaFarge, Fermacell and Glasroc. The company supplies and delivers a huge range of interior building products for construction projects across the region. “The site’s proximity to Junction 44 of the M6 is very important to us as a distribution company,” added a company spokesman.