Assurant snaps up last unit on Stoke-on-Trent trade park


The final warehouse on a Stoke-on-Trent trade park has been snapped up by technology repair and insurance business Assurant.

The 30,000 sq ft building has been constructed on Tunstall Trade Park, off Brownhills Road, as part of a wider development scheme which has been ongoing for five years.

Now Assurant is preparing to relocate to the site – which will act as the firm’s new device contact centre (DCC) – from its current base in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Andy Sheard, Assurant’s director of repair and service for Europe, said: “We want to expand our service offering and to bring everyone in-house and under one roof, but we just didn’t have enough space.

“We are currently in on old building in Newcastle, sharing a facility with another company. So we wanted to relocate to a premises more fit-for-purpose.

“We were keen to stay in the area as the majority of our staff are local. We had been looking at a few existing buildings in the city but couldn’t find anything suitable, so we decided to have one built.”

Assurant is headquartered in Crewe but it employs 150 people at its current North Staffordshire base in Newcatle-under-Lyme.

It’s new building – which is scheduled for completion next March – will feature larger office spaces, a fully-automated repair suite and four new trade counters.

Pictured (L-R) is Assurant’s director of repair and service for Europe, Andy Sheard, Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Abi Brown, development director at Clowes Developments Marc Freeman and site manager Rick Pears

Andy said: “I joined Assurant back in January 2017, I came from a repair background and I wanted to see what we could create here. Part of my vision was to bring all of our services in-house and into a new building.

“Having a bigger space means we will be able to bring more business which will allow us to invest in automation and create some new jobs in the software engineering side of the business. Our eventual aim is to become a 24/7 operation.”

Assurant’s new building has been constructed by Ashbourne-based developers Clowes Developments which has been working at the Highgate Works site for more than five years.

Marc Freeman, development director at Clowes Developments, said: “This is the final unit at Tunstall Trade Park and we are delighted that Assurant have taken a lease on the building because we believe that they are a good fit for the site.

“Our contractors started work on this unit two weeks before lockdown and have still managed to complete it four weeks early, which is testament to them.

“We have been building in Tunstall constantly for the last five years and we are about to start on the final phase, building four units totalling 20,000 sqft, on the opposite side of the road later this month.

“This development has been a real success and I believe that people have been drawn to it because of its location within the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone.”

Councillor Abi Brown, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, added:  said: “This is a fantastic development and I am delighted to see that Assurant have agreed to move here and bring jobs into the area.

“Some businesses have essentially moved out of their bedrooms to come to this site while some more established and well-known businesses have chosen to relocate here and to Stoke-on-Trent, which cements the strength of the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone status.”

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