Jeweller sparkles with Fruit Market HQ move

David Donkin, Mike Rice, James Rice, John Gouldthorp at the new Hugh Rice offices

Family-run jewellers Hugh Rice have moved into new offices in Hull’s thriving Fruit Market quarter.

The business outgrew its former Hull city centre premises, and has moved its support units, including operations, finance, HR, buying, marketing and directors, onto the site.

All in all, 28 staff have been moved to the new HQ offices.

Founded in 1965 by Hugh Rice who launched the business on George Street in 1971, it has grown to 16 stores with more than 350 staff.

Chairman Mike Rice said the company’s new home was an integral part of its growth strategy and five-year plan set out in 2015.

He said: “We’ve been fortunate enough to have enjoyed successes over the past four years and our plan has been a fantastic guide for us.

“We’ve just launched an updated strategy to take us through to 2022, which is more reflective of the current economic climate and will allow every department to head in the same direction and achieve our goals.

“Not only does the new office provide the space to grow into, which our previous premises lacked, it has also been designed to encourage us to work more effectively as one team, with communication between departments made much easier, helping us achieve our goals and grow the business in the future.

“We’re incredibly proud to invest in our home city of Hull. We’ve always been a city centre business and we were very keen to stay central, as opposed to moving to an out-of-town development.”

The business has worked closely with commercial developers Wykeland Group, on its new 6,000 sq ft premises. Hugh Rice bought the building from Wykeland and the two companies worked in partnership on its redevelopment.

David Donkin, Wykeland property director, said: “We’ve been delighted to work with the Hugh Rice team on their relocation and to welcome another blue chip local business to the Fruit Market.

“The Hugh Rice management team were attracted to the Fruit Market in part by the appeal of becoming part of a thriving community. In turn, their presence will support the continuing growth of local, independent and creative businesses that are benefiting from the growing presence of leading employers in the area.”

Chameleon Business Interiors, which is also based on Hull’s waterfront, delivered the fit-out of the offices.