Richard Huison, Regional Manager for UK and Europe, shares Gallagher’s journey from the Nuneaton office to its orange Warwick estate in the Silicon Valley of the UK.
After more than 18 years in Nuneaton, Gallagher opened the doors to an impressive new office and warehouse building in Warwick on Monday 28 June. While the drive from Gallagher’s old office to its new home may only take 35 minutes (on a good day), the journey itself has been quite a ride.
Gallagher’s new European Headquarters
The journey started before Richard Huison took on the role as Regional Manager for UK and Europe at the beginning of 2019. “We’ve experienced rapid growth in recent years and fast outgrew our current premises. Our new home in Warwick provides endless possibilities, with a beautiful open plan office to meet and network with our business partners,” said Richard.
Gallagher’s new 1,500 square metre (16,145sq ft) Headquarters (HQ), with onsite café, allows Gallagher to host prospective clients, hold events and better support Channel Partners and customers with meeting, conference and training facilities. The Headquarters also includes a 670 square metre (7,211sq ft) warehouse, to streamline UK and Europe operations and build greater efficiencies to support a heightened demand for Gallagher’s solutions.
“Our new UK home really indicates how much Gallagher is growing internationally. When you talk about scaling for the future, most people think three to five years in advance, but Gallagher thinks far beyond that. We have the next 20 to 30 years in our sight.
“Gallagher now operates offices and warehouses in ten countries across the globe, with more than 1,300 Gallagher employees based throughout the world.
“For now, our new UK home provides plenty of space to operate efficiently, however if I look to the future, I am confident that we will be at capacity within the next five to seven years,” said Richard.
This long-term view is exactly why Gallagher has more land available behind the building, for future expansions.
A space to connect and collaborate
Scaling up from the Nuneaton office, Gallagher’s Warwick-based facility will boast more meeting rooms and areas to host networking events, hold closed door conversations and educate everyone who interacts with Gallagher’s solutions. This is something Richard feels will add significant value to Gallagher’s partners and respective customers.
“My vision for Warwick is that it will be a place where people can collaborate – a space for our Channel Partners to meet with customers. This new office will align with our company culture of extended family – what’s ours, is yours. It’s a space for us and the people who work with us, to enjoy,” said Richard.
Gallagher work with a network of carefully selected and certified channel partners. These partners are independent businesses who manage the installation and maintenance of Gallagher products and solutions around the world.
It is all about the people
Richard explains while some of the team are already in the office and following government guidance regarding social distancing, there will hopefully be a team get together in July 2021 to officially celebrate their new home.
“As a team, we have not all been together, in the same room, for more than a year now. So, as you can imagine, we are incredibly excited to see each other again when the final COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. For some of our new starters, this will be the first time they get to meet their colleagues in person,” said Richard.
“While it is an incredible feeling to finally be in, it doesn’t quite feel like home yet. That will come in time. We must live in it and make it our own. We have essentially moved from a one-bedroom cottage to an eight-bedroom estate.”
The new HQ has strong ties to the company’s Kiwi roots, with beautiful New Zealand scenery and “Kiwiana” iconography featured on various walls, linking the Warwick Headquarters back to Gallagher’s Head Office in Hamilton, New Zealand.
“When you walk into the boardroom and sit down in meeting rooms, you really get that flavour of Gallagher’s heritage.
“It’s no surprise that ongoing COVID-19 restrictions have made it difficult for us to open our new office with fanfare, but when we can celebrate appropriately, we look forward to welcoming our company President, Sir William Gallagher, who will make the trip from New Zealand,” said Richard.
Growing into Europe
Richard explains how the new facility enables Gallagher to be better positioned from an operational perspective and provide a superior customer experience to support its growing customer base throughout Europe.
“As we progress beyond Brexit and COVID-19, we’re excited to expand further into Europe. And for now, I know we have the expertise and resource to manage the needs of our European customers from our Warwick HQ,” said Richard.
“Many of our customers have global operations that spread across the US, Europe and the Pacific – so Europe is a natural continuation of our global expansion.”
“We now have a building that can host over 80 employees and when we start to scale the business, we want to employ locally, to have a positive impact on the local economy,” said Richard.
The new office is situated just minutes away from Junction 15 of the M40 Motorway and a short taxi drive from Warwick train station, ensuring easy access for Gallagher’s partners and customers.
“With Warwick and Leamington Spa, otherwise called Silicon Spa because it is a thriving hub for the gaming industry, we are situated in an environment that is centred around technology. Several key customers of Gallagher are in the Midlands for a very good reason. It is a breeding ground for creativity. Also, if you look at other companies based in Tournament Fields, there are many national hubs for multinational corporations.
“Being part of Gallagher means being part of an enduring partnership with the community we work and play in,” adds Richard.
Protecting people and assets
When asked, ‘What’s Gallagher’s why?’, Richard responded: “It’s ensuring that people get home safely at night. Some of the world’s most critical sites trust Gallagher to protect their sensitive assets. You just have to look at the impact we have across the UK’s national infrastructure network. I like to think that we are playing an integral part in keeping the lights on.
“That’s our why, that’s why this new HQ matters. It enables us to keep growing, so we can continue to provide a safe and assured future through the protection of people, places and assets,” Richard concludes.