Hull firm Airco expands business in city
AIRCO is demonstrating its commitment to Hull after unveiling plans for a new state-of-the-art headquarters in the city.
The company was founded in 1991 by Neil Fisher.
Beginning as a sole trader with just a van and a business idea, he has grown Airco into a market leader in the UK's HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) sector.
In 2010, the company relocated to Priory Park East after outgrowing its former base in Stoneferry Road, east Hull.
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Now, following further growth, construction is to kick off on new bespoke premises next to Airco's current home.
Managing director Neil Fisher said: "This is a real statement of intent as far as Hull is concerned.
"As well as having lots of national work, we have a lot of regional work too and there was always the option to go a bit further west.
"But Airco is a Hull company and we employ a lot of Hull people, and that will always remain.
"It doesn't mean we will not continue bidding for national work – far from it – but we made a conscious decision to always have a presence here."
The premises have been designed by architects at Elevation Design.
As well as providing a showcase for the company's services, the building is also set to raise the bar in terms of renewable energy, with ground source heat pumps and other environmentally-friendly features throughout.
Airco has so far invested around £800,000 in the bespoke building, which is expected to be completed by October.
"All the technology will be environmentally friendly and will demonstrate the kind of technology and services we do all of the time," said Neil.
"Some of this technology we have been installing for 20 years, but it is only recently it has come under the term 'renewables'."
The news comes off the back of a hugely successful year which has seen the company experience growth of 39 per cent.
Over the past ten days alone, Airco has secured £280,000 of orders, with a further £1m of orders on new installations in the pipeline.
Airco now employs about 70 people, including ten apprentices, and can count a host of local, regional and national organisations among its clientele, including PLCs, big-name high street retailers and local authorities.
Neil said: "Refrigeration as we know it now was just starting off when I founded Airco.
"The supermarkets were just getting heavy refrigeration and data centres didn't exist.
"Now, keeping servers cool is a huge part of what we do.
"Through the recession, one of the things that saw Airco through and helped us to grow was the amount of service and maintenance work we do.
"We now do a lot more work with businesses or organisations where their processes are business critical.
"Whether it is a pharmaceutical company, a healthcare or educational organisation, an IT company or someone linked to ports and infrastructure, they all value the 24-hour response and the quality of engineers we offer.
"And at the end of the day, that is down to our people."
To read more about how Neil Fisher has grown Airco from a sole trader into a market leader in the industry, and for his tips on starting out in business, see the Big Interview in next Wednesday's Business Magazine.