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BSS HQ to move out of Leicester city centre

BSS HQ Leicester

The headquarters of one of the UK's oldest industrial names is to leave Leicester after more than a century.

BSS is to relocate its head office to Grove Park, Enderby, from Lee Circle, where it has been since it was founded in 1899.

The company, originally called British Steam Specialities, supplies plumbing and heating equipment to construction firms.

The business was bought for £550 million by Northampton-based builders' merchant Travis Perkins in 2010.

Travis, which has changed its subsidary's name to BSS Industrial, said all 150 staff working at Fleet House in Lee Circle would move to a purpose-built site in Barton Close, Grove Park.

Construction work on the firm's new three-storey 22,000 sq ft base is already underway.

The company would not give a date for the relocation, but a sign at the new site reads "BSS head office opening autumn 2015".

Chris Hufflett, managing director of BSS Industrial, said: "BSS Industrial's heritage is firmly rooted in Leicester, so it is with great pleasure that we are able to retain our Leicestershire base and move our 150 employees from Lee Circle to our new head office located at the nearby Grove Park. "This is a necessary and exciting development for the company as we secure plans for future expansion and business growth as part of the Travis Perkins Group."

Mike Barton, Grove Park's development surveyor, said: "BSS should be moving here in the autumn, but the building should be ready by the end of June."

Mr Barton said the new development meant just three of the park's 105 acres were now unoccupied.

The park, close to junction 21 of the M1, opened in 1997.

Other occupiers include British Gas, a Marriott hotel, accountancy group Baker Tilly and the head offices of car retailer Sytner and Topps Tiles.

BSS Industrial, which owns the PTS plumbing equipment brand, has more than 60 branches and employs thousands of people across the UK.

It is a market leader in the supply of pipeline, heating and mechanical equipment, with customers ranging from large national contractors to small independents.

The business has a central warehouse at Lutterworth and a purpose-built distribution centre in Coventry.

BSS said there were currently "no solid plans" for Fleet House, which is owned by Travis Perkins.

Tim Watt, chairman of Leicester Shire Business Council, which represents business groups across the city and county, said: "My own view is that this is a big national distribution business these days so it's an anachronism to have a head office in the bowels of a city."

Source : Ian Griffin - Leicester Mercury

27 January 2015

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