This week I’ve been playing at being Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs. I went to see First Line’s new home (just off the M40, junction 11) in Banbury. The site is still very much under construction, but it’s already very impressive.
Having moved a number of times over the past few years, md Dan Joyner hopes this new location will become a permanent home for the company.
He’s certainly given himself a lot of growing space too. I was blown away by the size and complexity of the operation.
It’s easy to quote impressive numbers when it comes to warehousing space, but I think seeing one being built speaks volumes. First Line’s monolith is truly massive. Massive enough to race a couple of JCB’s in, admits project manager Matt Vicarage who’s overseeing the final stages of the construction.
Matt’s crew of 80 aren’t playing about though. In fact they’re planning to complete the build two months ahead of schedule. With my Grand Designs hat on again, that’s pretty much unheard of.
That’s not to say the build hasn’t gone without a hiccup though. Sound-insulating boards which line most of the walls of the upper floors are having to be lifted and put in place by hand because the sub-contracted workforce missed a vital deadline to get them in before windows were fitted. Considering that each board weighs around 35 kilos, that’s quite a mistake to make.
Security around the site is tight, especially as some of the materials being used are incredibly expensive. Matt showed us some copper cable they’re using, just enough for 50 metres of wiring. He says each metre of the cable is worth Â£500. It’s easy to see why there’s a security presence on the site around the clock.
Still, the build is progressing well, says Joyner, who’s anticipating moving into his new office around Easter next year, with some stock being moved in as soon as Christmas. With a truly massive warehouse space, supported by a trade counter, telesales team, IT support, and even more space to grow First Line’s new home is shaping up to be something special.
CAT will follow its progress into the new year, and we expect great things from First Line.