MEZZANINE FACTORY FIT OUT OFFICE FIT OUT AIRCONDITIONING ELECTRICAL
About the project
Transforming new business premises into a fully functioning factory is never easy, especially when the project just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Initially Eurotubes started with plans for just one unit – but by the time they eventually moved in, the premises had expanded substantially. Owner Greg is convinced that without the aid of Spaceway none of this would have been possible.
Eurotubes is a very specialist company operating in a niche sector set up by Greg’s father. He discovered an innovative method ensuring precision winding of wire on spindles. Greg states, “Coil winding is where you take an automatic, multi spindle CNC machine and you have a blank bobbin that goes onto one of the spindles, normally eight or twelve spindles, and then you have to wrap copper wire in layers and turns around the bobbin creating an electromagnetic coil. They’re very hard to make, so there’s massive barriers to enter so that’s why we’re one of only three people in the world that produce these in a significant company. No one else offers the quality and repeatability that we do.”
Initial manufacture took place in Greg’s father’s shed, before moving into 13 little workshops, then into a former draftsman’s office with lots of box rooms in which people worked at benches. Introducing CMC machines meant adapting the building and as Greg indicates, it resulted in a very impractical situation. “It was so downtrodden, it was almost beyond an economical repair job. It was horrendous. There was no motivation to maintain any sort of cleanliness and proper hygiene.”
“We bastardized, butchered an old building, which ended up as a block of cheese in the end, and we just outgrew it. I had machines in the centre of the small workshop I’d created by knocking down walls. I couldn’t get to a broken machine. It was horrendous. We just couldn’t function anymore as a viable growing business in the premises we had.”
Greg had been considering future options for some time when a developer he knew sent him an email about some new units being created nearby. The site looked lovely, spacious and unspoiled sea views. It was perfect, Greg quickly signed up for Unit 1, Lynx Building in Navigator Park.
In The Beginning
Spaceway Get Involved
Fitting out and adapting the building to their needs was essential. The developers were providing a basic 6,000 square foot shell with a concrete floor, metal building, small toilet, kitchenette and a couple of roller doors. Gregg knew that adding in a mezzanine would provide valuable extra space so began hunting for suitable contractors, which is how he encountered Spaceway. Their professionalism instantly impressed him as they had a marketing pack on his desk within a short time. He knew that running a business and trying to manage a fit out project of this kind himself was unviable, and that using a specialist company possessing the resources to design and deliver it was the ideal answer. His developer confirmed that Spaceway provided good service and quality fit outs.
“There was no one else really in the vicinity who could get to us to make it economically viable, to have regular meetings, so I think Spaceway’s location helped them win the business as well as that initial presentation. That as a gateway and an almost guaranteed resource, coupled with the fact that they were fairly local made me just bite their arm off really,” commented Greg.
Spaceway’s design team walked Greg through each step of the transformation, beginning with the basic questions ‘What do you need out of this space and what do you need out of this factory?’
The need to place the heavy machines on the ground floor was the major design constraint. Specialised software was used to create 3D designs so that it was easy to visualise exactly what went where, and what other possibilities existed. Greg quickly realised that he was going to need more space than he had originally considered, particularly since he was planning for the long term development of his business. The developers promptly allotted him the next unit as well, giving him 7,000 square feet. A full mezzanine floor was now added to the designs.
Design and Build
Mid Project Changes
Costs were increasing. Greg negotiated a discount from the developers since partitioning between L1 and L2 were no longer needed – and then asked whether L3 might be available. “I was looking at this design, still thinking it might not be enough space for the future. It was kind of snowballing. It was starting to turn into Grand Designs really, but the industrial unit version of it. So we started talking high grade epoxy resin flooring, having a plush canteen downstairs on the CNC shop floor for the lads to keep the dirt downstairs, and the state of the art upstairs with glass offices and windows, plush carpet and giant walkways, air conditioning, luxury kitchen, gas induction hob, combi oven and microwave.’
He continued, ‘It got a little bit out of hand, but I didn’t want to make the same mistake my dad did by taking on premises and trying to live with it. I wanted to create a space that was going to satisfy any of our needs, for any way we want to grow in the future.”
The design worked better than Greg could ever have expected as it enabled the company to work efficiently even when having to become Covid safe at short notice. “Having a nice, clean, sterile environment has made it very easy to look after our staff that are shielding because the touch points are easy to get to. Everything’s spacious and open, so we can all socially distance as we walk past each other in our nearly two metre wide corridor upstairs. “
To finance the new premises, Greg decided to use PlusFinance. He said, “I didn’t realise before starting the project that asset finance existed. Without Plus Finance, we couldn’t have completed the project. We would’ve been adding to it bit by bit over five years, rather than getting finance to do it in one hit, and then spreading the cost as we grow over five years. It was definitely the right move. It was nearly a million pounds on finance.”
It was a big decision, but Greg is convinced it was the right thing to do.
“We spend most of our life at work. I wanted to create a space that I could enjoy being, because this is my life. I’m here eight days every day, this is where my life is,” before pointing out that having quality premises makes a difference to client’s opinions. “Our agents visit us, see our offices, our marketing pack with pictures of our CNC shop floor with start of the art machinery and it gives the right professional impression. They see a company that cares about what they make, a company that produces quality. That’s how effective creating and investing in a space like this is. We are able to constantly innovate, stay at the cutting edge of our technology and ahead of the competition.”
The Big Decision Pays Off
The End Result
The new premises have even allowed Gregg to gain new business as he could prove to existing clients that he could take on extra work. He says ”My biggest customer in the US turned round and said ‘Really, you do everything under one roof?’ Because of the space I generated here with Spaceway and the way we’ve laid everything out, I was able to go to my biggest customer and take on all their tooling and spare parts for their machines – hundreds and thousands of parts. Without the space we couldn’t have diversified and we’re now building machines too.”
Working with Spaceway ensured the transformation from a run down building to a fully functional, versatile operating space worked smoothly and efficiently. “It’s not good just having and empty concrete floor, you need an infrastructure around it. Designing something like this from scratch with someone who’s willing to invest, Spaceway is your perfect partner.”
“I would go back to Spaceway, in fact I already plan to. There’s a unit next door to us, which was L5 because I ended up taking four units from the developer. Started with one, then it was two, then it was three, then we knocked through into four. The fifth unit in a block of six, I’ve got plans to put in satellite offices on a soundproof mezzanine floor upstairs.”
In the wake of Covid, he had spotted an opportunity to provide offices for small businesses and entrepreneurs plus more space for his own business. Consequently, Spaceway are now involved in transforming L5 into a series of offices as Greg explains, “It will be like managed service, with a communal canteen, internet and a reception upstairs. Downstairs, there’s another 2,500 sq ft for machines.”
Spaceway not only met Greg’s expectations but exceeded them creating solutions to issues such as the need for soundproofing partitions, unexpected construction hitches such as last minute electrical supply problems and trying to manage the grand opening. Spaceway’s project manager worked closely with the company at every point, and as Greg points out “They even helped the delivery guys get the office furniture in so they could get it ready. Spaceway even went above and beyond to make sure I had my grand opening. I’ll thank them forever for that because it was a sensational success.”