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Directline Structures

Family-owned construction company, Directline Structures Ltd, expanded into new headquarters in Ashford, creating an additional 11 jobs in the county over the next three years.

Formed in 1988, Directline Structures chose to move into the Ashford area from Goudhurst.

The company specialises in the construction and design of steel and timber-framed buildings, primarily for education, commercial and industrial uses and care homes, and currently employs 18 people. Recent work in Ashford includes a new dining hall and “Learn Direct” centre for The Towers School, and the company is currently constructing a new workshop and MOT facility for D & D Autos in Orbital Park.

The company was awarded a £100,000 grant as part of the Selective Finance for Investment in England (SFIE) grant scheme by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) to help reach its growing national market.

Managing Director Duncan Murray, and Design Manager Jon Morton, are designing Directline’s new 15,000 sq ft building at Orbital Park, Ashford with input from Mark Hall of Cyma Architects, another local business. Designed with sustainability in mind, the building will feature geo-thermal ground or air-source heating, rainwater harvesting, an experimental green roof area to support bio-diversity, natural ventilation and possibly a wind turbine.

Lyn Hodges, Marketing Consultant at Directline Structures said: “The company celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2008, and it seemed like a good time to consolidate the business and construct our own new building to raise our profile nationally and showcase our abilities to potential customers.

"Our new headquarters are expected to contribute significantly to our future growth and reinforce ‘best practice’ in terms of design and building for a sustainable future. It will also create a superior working environment helping us to attract and retain professional staff.”

Duncan Murray added: “Moving to Ashford was the right thing to do for our business. We feel we now have the right premises in the right location, for our business.

"Our position in Ashford puts us at the heart of local regeneration projects and Orbital Park is well served by motorways, allowing easy access to clients regionally and nationally.

"We will benefit directly from the rapid connection to the M20 at J10 and the new fast rail links to London and the continent. Plus, we are confident our position in Orbital Park will mean the company will be able to attract more skilled employees to support the growth of our business.”

He added: "Obviously we designed and built our own premises, and the new building is just what we needed to showcase the quality of our work.

"The grant made the difference between our budget for moving and the actual cost. It was the difference which made us decide to commit to the project. It also encouraged us to purchase the equipment we required and to make the new premises exactly what we wanted."

For more information visit the Directline Structures website www.directlinestructures.co.uk or telephone 01233 504770