From Court House To Home...The Big Move Part 1

Posted By: David Robertshaw - Thursday, 28 August 2014  |  Comments: 0

From Court House To Home...The Big Move Part 1


October 2013....


Court External


On my usual route into work on my trusty bike I spied a new sign outside our old Magistrates Courts. Instead of the usual ‘For Sale’ sign this new one stated ‘Auction’. 


15 Years ago we moved into our current offices above Russell & Bromley, Lord Street.  At that time we only occupied one floor of approx. 1,800sq ft and left the 2nd floor unoccupied.


Current office However as we grew we needed this additional space. From 5 people in 1999 to nearly 40 staff now it helped to have this space to move and grow into.


Our lease is up…what to do? Russell & Bromley are moving out after 40 years at the site…retail is changing!


Do we enter into a new lease where we are or look for somewhere else?


We’re a bit tight and a bit squashed where we are but the offices are lovely, bang in the centre of Southport and we tend to overlook the little inconveniences; such as no parking, no storage, red hot because there is no a/c in the summer.


Do we want to put up with these for the next 15 years or look to move?


The problem with Southport is that there is very little office space in the town centre of the size we require. Lots of small offices above shops but nothing around 6,000-7,000sq ft that we need.


I’ve contemplated moving out to the business park on the outskirts of town but the offices are modern and a bit soul-less. Also we have people who use public transport or bike it into work and the business park isn’t great for that. I’ve looked at a few other places…an old restaurant that I used to go to, or the old nightclub at the top of the road. Both have been empty for years but circumstances dictated neither were suitable.


The courts however, they’re certainly large enough. We need 6,000-7,000 sq ft and they are 26,000 sq ft! But if they are at the right price why not. When they went up for sale I thought they would be well out of our league…but at an auction anything is possible!


I arranged for a viewing with my wife, Amanda and my business partner Jeanette and her hubby Gareth. Having a walk round you could just get a feeling that the building needed Access Point! There was talk of it being demolished and turning it into a pub, or a developer turning it into (more) flats – it was a building that needed some TLC and we thought we were just the people to do it! We made plans as to where we could put the office in the building and dreamt of the parties we could have, but at the back of our minds was the thought that we would be biting off more than we could chew.


We made another couple of visits during the viewing time just to see if we could convert it – like I knew what this would entail! We arranged for our other two directors to visit too, Amanda and Caroline to see what they thought. Both had exactly the same feelings we did about the building and that we should push ahead with plans.


The day of the auction came at Aintree Racecourse and the three of us sat there, Amanda, Jeanette and I, all nervous energy and scoping the salesroom to see who the competition in the bidding war would be. I was nominated bidder and I had an idea as to what I wanted to pay for it although I think the other two were worried I wanted it too much and would get bidding fever!


The actual auction came and went in a blur…did we get it? How much did we pay? Gulp!


Of course we got it, it was our destiny – I remember feeling both elated and bloody nervous! What had we done? I signed the contract with the auctioneer and paid the deposit; that was it, contracts were exchanged and it was just the simple matter of completing…how hard can that be?



It took some time before it sank in and Amanda and I just sat at home looking at each other wondering if we’ve done the right thing!



More to follow as the project continues…...





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