Representatives from Cannock Chase Council and Opus Land were invited to view the new £20 million premises of First Choice Group at Kingswood Lakeside in Cannock last month.
First Choice Group moved to the 100,000 sq.ft, purpose built industrial facility in 2017 after outgrowing their previous premises in Hawks Green in Cannock.
First Choice have been based in Cannock for nearly 20 years and have consistently expanded during this period, as well as establishing themselves as the UK’s unrivalled number one, spare parts supplier for the commercial catering industry.
Founded in 1999, they work in partnership with all of the industry’s leading brands to offer genuine spares. Operating with a database of more than one-million parts they also service the catering, laundry, coffee and bakery industries. They employed a workforce of almost 140 qualified and trained staff.
In 2016 they teamed up with Opus Land who obtained planning approval from Cannock Chase Council for a new 100,000 sq.ft. industrial facility in Cannock. The building provides the company with a much needed new HQ facility to service the needs of their expanding business. The site at Kingswood Lakeside includes a three storey office, incorporating kitchens for catering and training purposes.
Opus Land is a leading UK property development and investment company, who has offices in the West Midlands and London. This was the third development the business has delivered at Kingswood Lakeside with a further c. 300,000 sq.ft. currently under construction
As well as working with the developer to grant planning approval Cannock Chase Council played an integral role in assisting to secure funding from Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP which helped to bridge the funding shortfall.
Councillor Gordon Alcott, Portfolio Leader for Economic Development and Planning said “I was delighted to be invited to see the First Choice premises. Having been in the District for nearly 20 years I am pleased that they were able to find a solution for moving to bigger premises and staying in Cannock. It is a great example of working together to get the right solution; from development, to planning and securing additional funding. They have not only provided significant investment in the District but also local employment opportunities.”
Victoria Turnbull the Joint Managing Director of the developer Opus Land said “Opus were delighted to partner First Choice in delivering this best in class facility enabling them to achieve their aspirations to grow the business. We are delighted with the result and proud that the building has been shortlisted for the RICS Awards 2018. We hope to deliver many more high quality developments here through symbiotic partnerships between the public and private sector for the good of successful businesses such as First Choice.”
Since moving into the new purpose built building in 2017 they have taken on additional staff and the premises has plenty of room to accommodate future expansion.
First Choice Managing Director, John Whitehouse said “Having outgrown the previous unit, moving to Kingswood Lakeside has given us the opportunity to grow. We are already into double digit growth for this year and its only our second year of occupancy at this site. We have also increased our staff by employing another 20 people. Working with Opus Land was a real pleasure as they understood our needs and made the building to our complete specification.”