Following the official opening of the state-of-the-art Aico Building on the outskirts of Oswestry last month, our Commercial department is inviting other businesses looking to move to better premises to get in touch.

James Evans Head of our Commercial team said that business leaders should not be put off by change of use applications for land if the location is right. He commented: “The Aico success story is a fantastic example of how Shropshire businesses can expand and improve their premises to create modern working environments, jobs and adopt sustainable practices.”

The new Aico site was barren but had been earmarked for garden centre development with easy access to the busy A483 and A5 at Oswestry. Neal Hooper, Managing Director of Aico, was looking for space to expand the British HQ of the rapidly growing fire and carbon monoxide protection business. After trying to find a suitable location in Oswestry an associate put him in touch with James Evans, Manager of Halls Commercial.

Neal said: “It was really important to stay in Oswestry, where the majority of our staff live, for the new premises to showcase our brand, our products and to be an appealing place to work and be part of the community here.

“When I approached James he immediately got what we were looking to do and identified the old garden centre site, helped us acquire it, apply for change of use and introduced us to a local development team who dealt with this and property development under building surveyor’s supervision- all were Shropshire companies.

“We applied for planning in January 2018 and it was passed 6 months later, incredibly quickly, and with help from Morris & Co the building went up quickly too. We are keen to support local businesses and would recommend these firms to anyone looking to expand and create jobs.”

James said: “Aico is a very impressive business and now has the looks to match. When a firm is looking to manage a project like this one it’s important to avoid pitfalls that can arise if planning and capital costs are allowed to run away. It’s worth putting in the hard work early on to find the best site and negotiate its purchase at the right price too.

“I feel personally invested in its success having worked so closely with Neal and his team in a planning capacity. At Halls we work hard to offer a professional service and save costs wherever possible while understanding the client’s needs. I hope other community-minded businesses who want to expand, or apply for change of use, will get in touch with me on more exciting projects like this one.”


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