A successful Peterborough-based
catalogue shopping company has been helped to achieve rapid expansion by the
fast-track planning processes initiated by Peterborough City Council and the
support of local property professionals.
Since moving to the city from
Hertfordshire in 1992, Ideal Shopping Direct Plc has achieved rapid growth. From
its first small business unit, the company has achieved continual expansion and
last year it distributed 57 million catalogues.
Now the company has more than
doubled the size of its operation with the construction of a new 72,500 square
feet office and warehouse facility on a 4.9 acre site in Newark Road,
"This whole success story
underlines the dynamic results which can be achieved by the coordinated actions
of everyone involved in Peterborough's business community," said Gloria
Milne, chief executive of Greater Peterborough Investment Agency (GPIA).
"It illustrates how the public authorities, local business support
organisations and business community are all working together for the area's
Stephen Hawkins, from Peterborough
property agents Barker Storey Matthews, explained how several elements were
involved in the success of Ideal Shopping Direct's move. "Local property
developer Ancaster Homes purchased the Newark Road site, which had originally
been earmarked for a bank computer centre, in January 1999," he said.
"We were in the process of
developing speculative outline plans for a warehouse/industrial development when
we heard that Ideal Shopping needed to expand again.
"With the assistance of GPIA we
identified another firm from Huntingdon which was willing to relocate to
Peterborough and take on the lease of the 33,000 square feet building which
Ideal Shopping was then occupying. It was also willing to delay its move until
Ideal Shopping's new facility was built.
"Since the land already had
outline planning permission for light industrial and warehouse purposes, the
council's planning department was able to move very quickly and we were given
the go-ahead in a matter of weeks. As well as being more than double the floor
area of the previous premises, the new facility has greater eaves height which
provides even more storage capacity."
Ideal Shopping's managing director
Paul Wright said: "Moving to Peterborough was the start of a phenomenal
period of growth for us. Starting with one unit at the Flag Business Exchange,
we gradually expanded into adjoining units, then took a temporary warehouse at
Orton Southgate before moving to an existing building in Newark Road.
"Now our new warehouse and
offices provide the basis for a further programme of expansion which will result
in 100 new jobs being created. This year we aim to raise catalogue distribution
to about 60 million which will make us one of the largest independent mail order
companies in Europe."
With very little modern quality
industrial accommodation available in Peterborough, Stephen Hawkins believes
rental prices will soon increase to the level where it will encourage more new
speculative development projects. "There's a shortage of supply and
increasing demand," he said.