The new Dawsongroup London Heathrow branch in Feltham is an innovative site which has already started reaping success. It is symbolic of the way Dawsongroup is growing and developing, with its vans, truck and trailer, temperature control solutions and sweepers businesses all being based out of the same site. As local resident Freddie Mercury sang, Dawsongroup London Heathrow is “breaking free” from the traditional ‘one site, one business’ model and exceeding all expectations.
The unique location is a stone’s throw from Heathrow Airport, where Freddie worked as a British Airways baggage handler. Dawsongroup’s London Heathrow site is right next to a residential area only a few minutes away from where Freddie lived, and the residents love us! We’ve improved the look of the building and the work we do there is quiet enough not to disturb the neighbours. It’s the ideal location to establish ourselves in London near one of the world’s busiest airports, which handles around 1.7 million metric tonnes of cargo flying to over 200 destinations in more than 80 countries every year.
Feltham has been associated with land and air transport for well over a century, with the first railway station constructed there in 1848. Gliders, fighter planes and munitions were built in the area for both World Wars, as well as tramcars in the 1930s and Aston Martin cars between 1926 and 1957.
What we now know as Heathrow Airport was originally a small private airfield built by British aero engineer and aircraft builder Richard Fairey in 1930. During World War II the British government requisitioned the land in and around the area to build RAF Heston; however, by the time the airfield was nearing completion World War II had ended, and the UK Government continued to develop it as a civil airport. It officially opened on 31st May 1946 as London Airport and was renamed Heathrow Airport in 1966. Ten years later Concorde made its inaugural passenger flight from Heathrow to Bahrain, and now Heathrow Airport has welcomed over 2.5 billion passengers through its doors.
Breaking Free from Expectations
Dawsongroup truck and trailer has had a presence in the area for more than 35 years: first in Heston with a move to Feltham in the 1990s, then over to Iver from 2007 until 2021 when they returned to Feltham and the new site. Dawsongroup vans has been in the area since 2015, starting with a site in Reading, then in Iver from November 2019 and finally they moved to the new site in August this year. It made sense to own a site which could amalgamate both business units and make space for others at the same time. The location opens up the London market and allows both businesses the room to grow and expand as they have been wanting to. Vans has already broken free from expectations by achieving 1000 vehicles on hire since their move to the new site, due to an amazing effort from the whole team.
Freya Dawson welcoming the Vans team to the fabulous new site and congratulating them on achieving 1000 vans on hire.
Stuart Riddick, vans Branch Manager, said, “The 10 mile move from our previous site in Iver has benefitted not only the staff with up-to-date facilities and a new larger yard, but it has also given us an increase in the on-rent count. Dawsongroup vans Heathrow has grown 80% in the last 18 months, with this move being the final piece of the puzzle to ensure we continue maximising the potential in West London and the M4 corridor.”
Refurbished to Perfection
Refurbishment of the new Dawsongroup London Heathrow site began in May this year, starting with increasing the storage capacity of the external yard from 50 spaces to room for well over 100 assets. Nathan Indge oversaw the refurbishment project. He said, “There were challenges at the start with Covid causing staff shortages and delaying the project. The positive from this was that all parties worked well together, and although it was not an ideal situation, everyone kept going. In the end, the project was a complete success. We increased external capacity by 100%, increased security, improved facilities for staff and gave the whole site a lighter and more modern look and feel.”
A full refurbishment of the offices and workshop areas was completed to provide a fresher and more modern look to the internal aspects of the site for more than 40 members of staff. This included full redecoration, new flooring, carpets, LED lighting and furniture throughout, new kitchen facilities for yard personnel, upgraded and increased security provision and a brand-new fire alarm system.
“The project was a complete success. We increased external capacity by 100%, increased security, improved facilities for staff and gave the whole site a lighter and more modern look and feel.”
Nathan Indge, Facilities Manager
“Investing in a site that we own and don’t rent was fully justified as a good investment for the group,” said Freya Dawson. “Unlike Avonmouth, which is our only other site supporting four of our business units, this wasn’t a ‘build from scratch’ development and we faced a number of challenges along the way. However, everyone worked together to achieve the successful opening of Dawsongroup London Heathrow. With London on the doorstep, this site will create fantastic opportunities and open many doors for us.”
Steve Miller, Group CEO, said, “We are very excited for the new site and the opportunities for the group businesses to expand in such a key area of London.”
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