Growing Derbyshire Company Sticks with Local Business Estate for New Move

15th April 2013


A growing Derbyshire company that designs and manufactures seats for companies like Bentley, Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce is moving into bigger space to accommodate its expansion.

The Seat Design Company previously occupied 10,500 sq ft at the Amber Business Centre near Alfreton in Derbyshire, and has now taken on a 25,200 sq ft unit at the same estate, in a deal done by FHP property consultants, with NG Chartered Surveyors acting as joint agents.

The seating specialists were keen to stay in the local area because of the skill and expertise of its local team – which has increased from 20 to 31 over the last 12 months thanks to a series of new business wins that have spurred the company’s growth.

Tim Walker, one of the founders and directors of the Seat Design Company, said: “I’d known for a while that we needed bigger space. We are really happy with the Amber Business Centre, and luckily there was a bigger unit available. The company was set up 10 years ago and we’ve been at the Centre since the beginning.

“This move is a really big moment for us. We’ve worked hard over the last 10 years to establish a strong reputation as a specialist seat designer with low volume manufacture capability, and it’s really paying off. We’ve just won new contracts in the automotive, rail and medical sectors, hence why we need more space.

“I think the reason we’ve been so successful is because we invest heavily in staff training and equipment. This year we’re investing over £100,000 in new equipment which will further increase our manufacturing capability and we have plans to invest another £100,000 later this year.”

Laura West of FHP says that the Seat Design Company is just one of many success stories at the Amber Business Centre. “We’ve got a real mix of fantastic local and national companies on this estate, including ETS, Parker Knoll Ltd and Bow Distribution and Warehousing Ltd. The estate has a mix of small and large units, so it offers a flexible option for growing companies.

“I’m really pleased for the Seat Design Company – its success is well deserved. It’s great that the business has been able to grow with the Amber Business Centre. Before the move into the current unit, the company occupied a number of smaller units, which it had gradually acquired over the last few years. This step-by-step approach can help take away a company’s growing pains.”

Sunny Landa, from NG Chartered Surveyors, said: “The Amber Business Centre is a popular destination for local businesses. Importantly it is close to the A38 and A610 as well as junctions 26, 27 and 28 of the M1, which is key to the success of the companies at the estate.”

Since the current landlord took on the estate three years ago the occupancy rate has risen from 60 per cent to just over 90 per cent.

Landlord, Commercial Estates Group, has focused on offering support and flexible lease terms to tenants. Antonia Martin-Wright, manager of the Amber Business Centre, said: “We pride ourselves on offering small and medium sized businesses good value and support to help them develop. Our lease terms are flexible, and we can arrange for rents to be paid at times that suit our tenants. It’s the simple things like this that can really help companies like the Seat Design Company – a great example of one of the businesses that has grown with us.”

55 out of 58 units on the estate are now fully let and both Laura and Sunny are aiming for 100 per cent occupancy of the estate by the summer.


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