North West Business Briefs: iMist Holdings; Studio RBA; Savills; Network Plus

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A fire protection firm is to open a new office in the North West after a £4.5m investment by private equity investment manager Foresight Group.

London-based iMist Holdings, which has a Manchester office, makes and installs water mist fire protection systems for homes and residential buildings. It was founded in 2015 by managing director Tony Sims, who has more than 20 years’ engineering experience, and the sprinkler system uses around 88% less water than conventional products.

The UK market for fire protection is estimated at almost £1bn annually, with fire suppression accounting for more than a quarter of that.

Foresight’s investment will drive further growth and development activities across the UK, and iMist will expand operations in Scotland, and open two new branches in the North West and Wales to accelerate residential opportunities nationally, although locations have not been revealed.

Tony Sims said: “It gives me great pleasure to announce that iMist has now partnered with Foresight to take the business to the next level. Foresight’s experience of supporting sustainable businesses enabled this to be a seamless process. The partnership will allow iMist to grow and invest further in environmentally-friendly fire suppression systems for legislative markets across the Globe. 2021 will mark the start of this journey and the team could not be more excited for the future.”

Francesca Dickinson, investment manager at London-based Foresight, said: “We are delighted to support Tony, Alex and Nick and the wider team at iMist as they target a significant market opportunity. We are impressed by the business’s growth since inception and look forward to working with the team going forward.”


The Telegraph House plans

Liverpool-based architecture practice Studio RBA has been appointed by Crossfield Exclusive Developments to advise on its portfolio of forthcoming projects.

The firm is to act as both creative lead and project architect on a number of schemes currently in the pipeline, including the redevelopment of Telegraph House in Crosby village, North Liverpool. The site is earmarked for a 67,000 sq ft mixed-use scheme, including ground floor retail and four floors of apartments.

Kenny McNaughton, managing director at Studio RBA, said: “This is another keynote appointment for our practice and continues our evolution to more mixed-use schemes and larger projects. We have been gearing up with a number of new staff hires to ensure we have the strength in depth to deliver and this appointment validates our strategy. We’re delighted to be on board and supporting our client across its entire portfolio.”

David Cain, director of Crossfield Exclusive Developments, said: “Studio RBA brings a fresh and creative perspective underpinned by very capable technical delivery. It’s a good blend for our business, which is moving at pace to deliver a range of high quality schemes. We see them as a partner in our progress and I’m enjoying working with them.”

Studio RBA has a 13-strong team based in new offices at the Royal Albert Dock.


Four Kingsland Grange

International real estate advisor Savills, on behalf of Custodian REIT, has let Four Kingsland Grange in Warrington to Life Technologies.

The biotech company has agreed a new 10-year lease for the 65,830 sq ft detached industrial unit, which has recently been fully refurbished to provide quality warehousing space with two storey offices.

Kingsland Grange is situated in the heart of The Grange employment area, a major industrial estate to the east of Warrington town centre.

Neighbouring occupiers include XPO Logistics, Hermes, Iceland and Fed Ex.

Billy Seddon, associate in the Manchester industrial agency team at Savills, said: “The comprehensive refurbishment of Four Kingsland Grange created modern, high quality warehousing space in a highly sought after area. We’re delighted to have secured this letting to Life Technologies which will bring another notable occupier to the wider industrial estate.”


Salford-based utility and infrastructure provider Network Plus and sister business, Go Traffic Management, have agreed a major partnership with Speedy, the Newton-le-Willows-based plant and tool hire group, to provide all hired plant, tools and equipment to both businesses.

Speedy has been appointed as preferred supplier nationwide, over a three-year period.

With forecast turnover in excess of £300m, and contracts with the nation’s key utility companies, Network Plus and Go Traffic Management rely on a rapid and flexible supply of plant and equipment to meet their needs.

In addition to providing core hired plant, tools and equipment, Speedy will also provide a co-located traffic management service operated by Go Traffic Management at each of the Speedy locations.

Daryl Cheetham, executive director at Network Plus, said: “Speedy were selected because they have a national presence, demonstrate outstanding agility in service levels and can supply us with the wide range of products we rely on in our business. This is an example of a win-win situation where both organisations support each other and offer something different and compelling in the marketplace.”