In 2019 Water Direct invested more than £1m in expansion into new premises in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, designed to augment its offering across the Midlands and North of England. Less than a year later, the company is investing a further £1m in new, purpose-built premises close to Ascot, East Berkshire. The site will be officially opening on June 1st 2020.
The brand-new 10,000 sq. ft building stands on .85 acre of land, creating an additional fleet hub and bottled water storage location to support the members of the Nationwide Bottled Water Bank.
The new site is strategically located, within one hour of central London and close to the convergence of supply areas of contracted water utility partners Thames Water, Affinity Water, South East Water, Sutton & East Surrey Water and Southern Water. It also provides improved service to customers across the home counties, as well as those in Portsmouth Water’s area.
The site also helps deliver improved service into the West and South West of England. With swift access to the HS2 route and situated close to the heart of the UK festival and events industry, it will help Water Direct continue to deliver exemplary service and provide definitive alternative water supply solutions to the water, construction, healthcare, food, industrial, hospitality and events sectors in the future.
Water Direct will operate part of its fleet from the new premises. Alongside being the largest commercial fleet of dedicated drinking water tankers in the UK, the technology employed across the specialist fleet was recently short-listed in the Water Industry Awards 2020, ‘Most Innovative New Technology of the Year’ category, now rescheduled to Mid-July.
The company is still intending to offer a ‘show-n-tell’ at the new location once travel and meeting restrictions are eased. “Our original plans to host water utility and commercial partners at the site have been on hold for now. We’re looking forward to the chance to demonstrate the equipment as soon as we can and show how the technology has evolved.” explains Water Direct’s Head of Operations, Oliver Silcock. “The first part of 2020 has been challenging for the whole country” he continues. “Recent events have definitely brought business continuity planning, infrastructure resilience and the importance of continuity of water supply into sharp focus.”
As part of the UK’s critical water supply chain, Water Direct has been working 24/7 over recent weeks to ensure essential water supplies are maintained across the country.
“We are very proud of the progress that’s been made in completing the site and continuing to deliver our usual level of service, especially while navigating the operational challenges around the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic and the continued demand for our services. I really couldn’t be prouder of the whole team.” says Jonathan West, Managing Director.
Water Direct is anticipating sustained demand for its services over the coming months and is investing in additional resources to meet that demand. The possibility of a hot summer, reduced rainfall, displaced population, and likelihood of the British people holidaying at home this year suggests sustained strain on different areas of the network during that time.
While Water companies take steps to manage the forecast, by investing in the new site and expanded fleet, Water Direct is better equipped than ever to meet national demand and keep customers on supply.