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The Search for Nationwide Hire’s new office

Nationwide Hire (WowNow Hire was formerly known as Nationwide Hire) had outgrown its office space in West Street, Fareham, so in November 2017 Jonathan Holley (Managing Director) set out on a hunt to find the perfect 8,000 to 10,000 sq. ft. workspace that would ensure Nationwide Hire’s world-class service levels continue and where the business would have plenty of space to grow.

Nationwide Hire’s exceptional quality of customer service depends on its very knowledgeable and expert staff so the goal was to find a new office within 1 mile of the old one so that no-one would leave as a result of the move. This was not an easy task with 70 members of staff and a maximum 1 mile target, but Jonathan set off on this challenging quest. Jonathan talked to Commercial Property Agents, spoke with Fareham Council (who were very helpful), looked at Google Maps and walked the streets of Fareham talking to people and asking various people for information. At one point he had identified some land near Fareham Station, an old Co-op building and a church hall. Then Jonathan heard a rumour about a charity that might be looking to re-locate. Jonathan rang the Directors of the charity (called Kids) who revealed that yes, they were looking to relocate. The building was called Delta House off Salterns Lane and was the home of the Kids Charity who owned it.
Jonathan invited the owner of the business, Lynda Piper, to view the property. Lynda agreed that it would be suitable and after many discussions and negotiations the deal was done, Nationwide Hire’s offer had been accepted and the exciting journey to create the new office space began.

Starting afresh

Nationwide Hire’s purchase of Delta house completed in April 2018 and the Kids charity handed over the keys to Jonathan. The building was a maze of small and large rooms designed for providing respite for children who are carers themselves. There was also a residential unit for children with special needs. The challenge was to convert this 60s building into a modern, spacious, and bright office for the 21st Century. It was decided that the whole building would need to be stripped back completely, knocking down all internal walls where feasible, removing all old electrics and heating and to start afresh.  The key objectives for the new fit-out were to create a spacious environment in which staff could work and rest productively. There was great emphasis on having good quality lighting, special spaces for different types of work, full digital capability and an area where staff could rest away from the high intensity of the operations area. We wanted visitors to be able to see the whole of operations from reception, so that they could get a sense of the energy and culture of the company.

Several months later and after days of planning, negotiating and searching for the perfect fit out and refurbishment company, the major refurbishment works finally started. Total Design Shopfitting Services Ltd spent the next 5 months completely transforming the property into a spacious, open plan,  exciting and modern office environment.
The inevitable challenges arose on the way and Total Design’s Project Manager Ben Whorton was excellent at communicating the issue straight away and with solutions. This meant that the fit-out kept to schedule and budget. The fit-out was completed by 1st April 2019.

Lynda Piper, the new owner of the new office renamed the building “Howard Piper House” in honour of the founder of Nationwide Hire Ltd who had sadly passed away in January 2017. The Building was given its new name when the new signage was erected on 7th May 2019.

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The Move

By April 2019 the much needed, larger, more productive space with better facilities was urgently required by the expanding business and its staff. The move date was set for 8th April 2019, 18 months after Jonathan had started the quest.

The move itself had been planned meticulously by a combination of Lee Fisher (HR and Talent Manager) and Gavin Symonds (IT Director). Active Workplace Solutions had won the tender for moving our furniture and for supplying new used furniture for the larger office.

The move went extremely well with no interruptions to services to their customers. The staff walked out of their old office on Friday 5th April and into their new office, Howard Piper House, Salterns Lane, Fareham, on Monday 8th April without a hitch. Active Workplace Solutions had done a superb job alongside Lee and Gavin and other members of staff who helped.

The official office opening took place on Wednesday 8th May, with Alan Knight MBE and Lynda Piper Chairman of the company cutting the ribbon.
Now that Nationwide Hire Ltd has settled into Howard Piper House it will accelerate its ambitious growth plans and hopes to attract new talent from the local area, whilst maintaining its World-Class services levels and continuing to ensure their customers’ momentum.