Tech investment helps self-storage provider beat the lockdown

A family-run self-storage company which opened in York nine months ago has invested in online resources.

Go Store self storage was set up by Rory Windham, his uncle Norman Galbraith and his cousin Jamie Galbraith. It offers storage space for people and businesses at its premises at Monk’s Cross Drive in York.

Before and during the lockdown, thanks to grants of just over £11,000 from business support programme AD:VENTURE, the company invested in IT improvements, such as VoIP telephones; website development, including dynamic pricing and booking; with plans for an online facility to sign contracts digitally.

The technology means the company can manage the facility remotely, allowing monitored access for customers and enabling the site to operate safely under Covid-19 restrictions.

Rory Windham said: “It was a bit of a stroke of luck that we had all this in place for lockdown.

“It means the business was immediately more resilient and able to offer something many larger and more established storage sites couldn’t do.

“We are competing against the big boys with deep pockets and the grants meant we can actually compete on that level.

“The new technology has helped us remain ahead of the market, and business is continuing to grow as we ease out of lockdown and the restrictions.”

The funding from AD:VENTURE, a  programme for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), has also paid for furniture for the reception area to give customers a better experience.

Go Store has created three jobs so far. But it has also helped create and support about ten other jobs indirectly, because local people use the site as a storage base for their e-commerce businesses.

Rory Windham and Norman Galbraith had operated a similar business in the North East, before selling that to a national operator.

They wanted to move to York as they saw a gap in the market for self-storage.

Councillor Andrew Waller, portfolio holder for Economy and Strategic Planning at York City Council, said: “Go Store Self Service Ltd are an excellent example of how start-ups are contributing to the city’s economic growth and these will be vital to our recovery.

“It’s an incredibly challenging time for all businesses, so to see a young company continuing to grow and create and support jobs despite the impact of Covid-19 is a much needed boost for everyone.

“Supporting our new and growing firms is an essential part of our wider growth strategy, and we are proud to partner with AD:VENTURE to offer this much needed support to help our young firms to thrive.”

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