Leading UK lighting and visuals rental company HSL has acquired a new 240,000 square foot warehouse and office premises very close to their current HQ in Blackburn, Lancashire. This will quadruple the current space and is currently being prepared to be fully operational by summer 2012.
HSL’s business has expanded exponentially over the last 4 years and the company has completely outgrown the current building in Ribble Business Park and a second adjacent unit that came on stream two years ago.
The move will ensure that HSL’s highly effective service-driven operations will continue at the levels of efficiency which everyone expects. There will also be room for future expansion into the rest of the space once the initial 165,000 square foot ‘phase one’ development is complete.
Features in the new space will include a large technical department, complete with climate controlled test rooms from +85 to minus 20 degrees – including an anechoic chamber (dead room) – to enable the extreme soak testing of all products in HSL’s extensive hire stock. Clean air facilities with full monitoring are installed throughout all the technical areas.
A complete set of Visualisation studios together with all the latest software options will be available for lighting designers, directors and operators to pre-programme their shows in comfort and style. This will have its own contemporary styled lounge area and full 24 hour access.
Arguably the most advanced rental company prep area in the country is being designed to service all the outgoing projects, with the capacity to prepare over 200 moving lights and 500 generics every 2 hours.
There are dedicated Goods Out and In bays accommodating multiple artics and smaller vehicles simultaneously.
There will also be a comprehensive training area with class and seminar rooms and demo rooms set up and ready for sessions multiple different product lines, from trussing and rigging to consoles, LED screens and media servers.
Security is paramount for HSL’s new operation, not least because of the size of the facility. A fully computer controlled access system enables areas throughout the building to be secured and locked down. This is combined with complete CCTV coverage with full HD recording and remote viewing, plus a fully monitored computerised alarm system.
HSL has invested heavily in a new VMWare virtual server system giving HSL full redundancy and backup on all vital servers and data storage. The system is designed and being implemented by HSL’s IT manager, Jonathan Cundliffe. The new unit has multiple server and comms rooms with a full fibre optic backbone, and is connected to one of the fastest fibre broadband lines in Lancashire. Cundliffe says “This is a very exciting time for HSL, and it’s essential that the IT systems are cutting-edge, both to ensure the company’s continued development and to support the high levels of service we provide”.
HSL’s mantra of “It’s all about the people” is reinforced with the installation of a full range of staff social and recreational facilities including a restaurant, games room and bar at the hub of the space complete with a fully equipped gym. “We have a great staff and workforce camaraderie here at HSL and want to ensure that everyone has access to quality facilities that can be enjoyed at any time – it’s a big part of the company’s work ethic and our commitment to those we value,” states MD Simon Stuart.
Future plans include the establishment of a digital artwork studio, and developing one of the spaces into a lighting museum.
Stuart adds, “We are really looking forward to being in the new space and to further streamlining our business bringing benefits to all our clients and employees as well as those who work alongside us”.
Watch this space for further details …..
Date of issue : 21st February 2012.