Cushion company Caldeira has acquired and developed a new headquarters on the Knowsley Industrial Park in Merseyside, in a £3m investment project.
The 85,000sqft factory on a three-acre site, at 29 Lees Road, will contain manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, office, and showroom facilities, and has replaced the company’s former rented premises.
The investment project has seen Caldeira already commit to installing over 1,000 solar panels on its roof which will have the capacity to generate around half a megawatt (500KW) of renewable solar energy. The company is currently undertaking a feasibility study and is looking into the possibility of doubling its solar generation capacity to a megawatt (1MW).
The premises will also be the location of a new digital hub which will provide ultra-fast broadband to the Knowsley Industrial Park and the surplus space at the site, not yet required by Caldeira, is being developed and will be rented to other companies looking to re-locate to the area.
The significant renovation of the site has involved a full refurbishment of the property, including new roofing, flooring, electrical installations, and re-decoration of the building. In addition, there have been adaptations to the factory, warehouse, offices, and showroom space, to enable the company to increase production to over a million cushions per year.
The project is expected to create 10 new jobs directly and the building will support significantly more once the remainder of the site is fully occupied.
Managing Director Tony Caldeira is delighted with progress on this landmark project for the company, saying. “Our new headquarters will provide a permanent home for the company and will give Caldeira the capacity to grow and diversify our business further. The project is not only important for Caldeira, it is also exciting for the local area.
“As well as being ideal for cushion manufacturing, our new headquarters are perfect for renewable solar energy generation, have enabled a new digital hub to be created on site, and will provide much-needed industrial space to let on the Knowsley Industrial Park.”
Caldeira’s purchase of the building has been supported by HSBC Bank in Liverpool. Matt Murphy, Relationship Manager at HSBC UK, who helped fund the acquisition of the property, said: “It’s fantastic to help Caldeira with the acquisition of a new headquarters. This move will allow the company to continue delivering high quality products throughout the UK and Europe. We look forward to seeing the business continuing to strengthen its operations and create employment opportunities for the local community.”
The company’s renovation of the building has been assisted by the Liverpool City Region Flexible Growth Fund. Jeff Cummins, Investment Manager at River Capital, who supported the project as a manager of the Flexible Growth Fund, added: ‘’We were delighted to be able to support Caldeira UK Ltd, with their move to larger Headquarters in Knowsley. There was a gap in their funding, which is exactly why the Flexible Growth Fund was created, as it enables transformational growth projects to be completed, where new jobs within the LCR are created as a result, this project certainly achieves that. We welcome applications from other businesses within LCR seeking support from the Flexible Growth Fund for Growth projects involving new Capital Expenditure where new jobs are created and encourage them to bring their plans forward”
The Caldeira project was also supported by the Liverpool City Region Capital Grant Fund. Mick Gallagher, Investment Readiness Advisor at St.Helens Chamber, who manages the fund on behalf of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said: “We were pleased to help Caldeira with the move to their new premises with the grant that was an essential catalyst for the relocation to their new unit on the Knowsley Industrial Park. Caldeira ticked all the boxes for support, and we are looking forward to them reaching their full potential and creating the new job roles following their move. The grant is open to high growth SMEs based in the Liverpool City Region operating in the B2B arena that are looking to develop their business with capital investments which will lead to the creation of new jobs in the local economy”
Caldeira was advised legally on the property related matters of the deal by Excello Law in Liverpool. Peter McHugh, Commercial Property Lawyer at Excello Law in Liverpool, who led the legal team on the property acquisition, said: “Caldeira’s acquisition and redevelopment of their new HQ will bring additional investment and job opportunities into Knowsley. It’s also testament to a strong partnership and funding approach across the Liverpool City Region which ensures successful local companies are able to grow their businesses in the heart of Merseyside.”
Solar PV Investment
As part of the project, Caldeira is investing heavily in solar energy, and in 2023 will create the capacity to generate up to half a megawatt (500KW) of renewable solar energy, with over 1,000 solar panels being installed on part of the building’s two-acre roof.
This is significantly more than the company uses in its manufacturing process and operations and should make Caldeira a Carbon Negative company in 2023.
There is potentially capacity to double this renewable energy output and the company is exploring the possibility of generating a megawatt (1MW) of solar power, as there is capacity for up to 2,300 solar panels on its south-facing roof.
According to figures sourced from PV Magazine in the US, in its July 11th 2022 article, as a guide, the first phase of the Caldeira installation would be expected to offset more carbon emissions than 11,000 trees. The ‘maxed out’ version of 1MW of solar capacity at Caldeira could be expected to offset more carbon emissions than 26,000 trees.
Caldeira selected Environmental Roofing Services Ltd (ERS) to both upgrade its roof and install the solar array, as part of the project at 29 Lees Road. Managing Director of ERS, Clive Jones, was pleased to win the work and deliver this landmark project, saying.
“The Caldeira new headquarters project is a perfect job for ERS. The dilapidated nature of the building on Lees Road enabled us to utilise all of our divisions, roofing services, solar installation, electrical services, asbestos removal and scaffolding, and we were able to deliver all of these services together for Caldeira.
“We are looking forward to installing the next phase of solar panels and electrical works in March, to take Caldeira’s solar generating capacity up to half a megawatt (500KW), and we are delighted to be helping Tony and his team explore the possibility of ‘maxing out’ the capacity of the Caldeira roof with a megawatt (1MW) of renewable solar electricity generation capacity at some time in the future.
“This is an inspirational project and I’m sure there will be many business owners in the North West who will be watching closely and be tempted to follow Tony’s lead, as he is doing the right thing for the environment, the local business community, and his balance sheet!”
A decision is expected to be made on the ‘maxed-out’ 1MW version of the Caldeira solar installation in Autumn 2023, following analysis of power generation levels during the summer and subject to the relevant approvals.
New Digital Hub With Ultra-Fast Broadband
In another boost for the Knowsley Industrial Park, Caldeira has entered into a strategic partnership with Liverpool based digital connectivity specialist, Baltic Broadband, to deliver ultra-fast broadband of up to 40Gbps to the Knowsley Industrial Park, from Caldeira’s new headquarters at 29 Lees Road.
Matt Wilson, CEO of Baltic Broadband, is excited by the opportunity which has been created. “The partnership represents a significant investment by bringing high-speed resilient digital connectivity to the estate that will benefit the entire Industrial Park thanks to this new Digital Hub. Powered by Caldeira’s renewable energy, local businesses within the estate can now access cost-effective high-speed & reliable internet with speeds available of up to 40Gbps (40,000Mbps), setup normally within 10 working days.”
“The new digital hub has been greeted positively by many in the area, including Knowsley Chamber of Commerce, Knowsley Growth Hub, and Knowsley Council. Cllr Tony Brennan, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development on Knowsley Council, welcomed the move, saying “Knowsley Council welcomes the collaboration between Baltic Broadband and Caldeira; a great example of a partnership that benefits not only Caldeira but also provides more choice to our businesses across Knowsley Business Park.”
Excess Space Available To Let
Caldeira’s new development will also bring much-needed additional industrial units to Knowsley, which has recently seen significant investment from many investors.
The units will be marketed by Commercial Real Estate Specialists – B8 Real Estate, and Thomas Marriott, Surveyor at B8RE has commented, “Despite the slight downturn in the economy, the demand for good quality, industrial accommodation remains strong in Liverpool, especially in Knowsley.
“The Caldeira space at 29 Lees Road offers lots of flexibility and it provides an immediate option for an occupier wanting renovated and secure industrial accommodation, plus the unique selling points of a large, renewable power supply and ultra-fast broadband.
“Both Caldeira and the contractors involved have done a great job of transforming the building and I’m looking forward to showing potential tenants around this exciting space.”
Caldeira Managing Director Tony Caldeira, is extremely grateful for all the support that his company has been given during this project, saying. “The success of this project has been a great team effort. I’d like to thank all of our customers, staff, stakeholders, the Combined Authority and the Local Authority in Knowsley for their continued support for the company during this period of change – with a special thank you to Caldeira Operations Manager, Shaun Fletcher, who has had to deal with multiple contractors on site, whilst moving the factory, and getting our customer’s orders out on time, all at the same time!”
The project comes at a busy time for the Caldeira team, which recently opened a new US Showroom at 230 Fifth Avenue in New York City. The Caldeira team will also travel to Frankfurt in January to attend the Heimtextil exhibition, where they hope to increase their export sales which already form over two thirds of total cushion sales.