Harpenden plant hire business reopens after £400K refurbishment
PUBLISHED: 18:00 13 February 2016
A family company which has shown its loyalty to Harpenden by keeping its head office in the town for nearly four decades has revamped its local base, with hopes to expand.
Town Mayor Cllr Brian Ellis has officially re-opened Charles Wilson Engineers Ltd, known in the industry as CW Plant Hire, in High Street, after the firm’s head office had a £400,000 refurbishment.
Director Graham Pollard said the privately owned equipment rental business began trading in 1979 from a small house in Southdown.
He added: “Since then it has grown into a nationwide company employing nearly 300 staff and has established itself as one of the leading hirers of plant and equipment in the UK.
“We currently operate from 17 depots and our plans are to grow our depot network to 25 over the next five years. We are probably one of the largest employers in Harpenden.”
Graham said the head office refurbishment, “has been a substantial investment for the company and will create more office space and a much nicer working environment for our staff.
“It will also enable us to employ more local people to support our future growth and expansion plans.”
While admitting the £400,000 refit was a “huge investment for any company”, Graham said it was carried out by a local business and “is an amazing transformation of the existing building”.
Maintaining a depot in Harpenden enables quick access to nearby Luton Airport, and major road and rail links. Apart from hiring out equipment to assist with large one-off prestigious builds within Harpenden itself, the company has also - via its tools of the trade - provided gear for a contractor working on the widening of the M1 motorway.
However it also supports community organisations and projects, for example donating £250 to each of the mayor’s charities, The Harpenden Trust and the Southdown play areas working group.
CW Plant Hire has also recently donated £250 to the construction industry charity which it has supported for many years, The Lighthouse Club, which gives financial aid to construction workers and their families when, for example, they have suffered a major injury.