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Barhale move proves a major coup for BCI.

One of the UK's fastest growing civil engineering companies has switched to a new headquarters in the Black Country.

Barhale has moved into the former Ingersoll-Rand factory in Walsall's Bescot Crescent.

The privately-owned company, whose annual turnover is over pounds 100 million, and employs some 1,200 people, previously had its HQ in Wallows Lane, Walsall.

Barhale's property and development manager, Tony Walton, says the group has had interests in the Walsall area for nearly 20 years.

The company decided to look for larger regional premises last year, after outgrowing its offices in Wallows Lane.

Mr Walton says the involvement of Black Country Investment meant the property search lasted little more than a week.

'It was almost too good to be true,' he recalled.

'We decided to look for freehold premises in the area, and a few days later BCI's investment manager, Graham Ropson, got in touch with Barhale and said that he'd found somewhere that looked suitable.

'The Bescot Crescent site had almost 100 parking places, and is adjacent to Wallows Lane, so it was decided to acquire the premises'.

The 2.5-acre site included an 11,500 sq ft office block, a second building of similar size, and 48,000 sq ft of industrial space.

Ingersoll-Rand had vacated the building as part of a move to switch lock production from the Black Country to Turkey.

Barhale, which is a major contractor in the telecoms and utilities sectors, installed fibre-optic links between the two offices and then began moving in after the Christmas break.

'The Wallows Lane site will continue to be used by Barhale forits construction operations in the Midlands and be the central hub of the firm's plant and transport operations,' said Mr Walton.

The Bescot Crescent site will house Barhale's head office and support departments.

Mr Walton is now using BCI to find potential occupiers for the surplus industrial space.

'They were certainly very useful to us,' he said.

'Graham Ropson knew the area, and the vendor, very well.

'He was also prepared to get some mud on his boots to get the deal done.'

Mr Ropson points out that the ability to find a suitable site swiftly meant employment was safeguarded for both Barhale's 50 office staff, and 100 locally-recruited operatives.

'We pride ourself on our knowledge of the Black Country's property sectors and in this case were able to find a suitable site within days.'

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Seen here is Barhale's new HQ at Walsall's Bescot Crescent
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jan 15, 2004
Words:413
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