Work starts on 100-year-old business

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Work has started on a new warehouse and office extension for Yorkshire-based specialist e-commerce and distribution company, Hemingways.

Construction contractor Lindum is building a 3,600 square metre addition to the company’s operations centre at Barker Business Park, near the village of Melmerby, Ripon.

Once complete, the additional space will allow the 100-year-old business to consolidate its Yorkshire workforce in one location.

Hemingways is a specialist e-commerce, sales and distribution company, representing a wide range of major UK and international brands, promoting and selling their products

Its operations include corporate and consumer gift sales for Mondelēz confectionery brands including Cadbury; white label gift card and pre-pay solutions for more than 60 major UK and international retailers; and technology platforms used by some of the world’s biggest retail brands.

Hemingways Managing Director Andrew Johnson said: “This development represents our company’s largest single capital investment and supports our ambitious growth plans as we move into our second century of trading.

“The new facility will provide much increased capacity while offering our employees a modern, contemporary and attractive working environment. We are delighted to be working with Lindum on this project.”

Hemingways is recognised as one of the fastest growing private companies in the North and has had a presence at the Barker Business Park for more than 20 years.

The new extension will run along the rear elevation of the existing building. To the south, will be new open plan offices, an extensive staff hub area and a new staff and visitor car park.

Contractor Lindum secured the work after being recommended to the client’s agent by one of its regular subcontractors and chose the firm over several others.

Lindum quantity surveyor Kieran Bond, who is based at the company’s offices in Elvington, near York, said: “The initial meeting went well and we were asked to negotiate the work directly. We are really grateful to our subcontractor for the introduction and it’s a reminder to us all that being a fair employer is just as important as doing a good job for customers.

“We are continuing to work closely with the team at Hemingways to deliver an extension that meets their requirements while managing the constraints of a ‘live’ production factory.”

The extension will utilise the same palette of materials as the existing building, comprising a red brick base with Khaki cladding and Olive flashings. The new entrance area will have more glazing to bring light into the office areas. Around the entrance, timber cladding will be used to balance the dark grey framed glazing.

Scott Ripley of SRA Ltd, which is providing Project Management and Cost Management support said: “We are incredibly proud to be supporting our clients Hemingways following their decision to increase the scale of their operation in Melmerby.

“We will work closely with both Hemingways and construction partner Lindum to ensure that the expansion runs as smoothly as possible for this long established and successful business.”

Hemingways, an independent, family-owned business, began in Leeds as a furniture and homewares retailer. During the 1960s and 1970s Hemingways operated furniture and department stores in Yorkshire and began marketing and distributing confectionery during the 1970s.

Employing 115 people, and up to 300 during peak trading, Hemingways saw turnover rise to over £96m in 2018/2019; trades in 14 countries and has recently been adopted as a Yorkshire-based Northern Powerhouse Partner.