Regional auctioneers are showing their confidence in the future as they embark upon new building projects.
Halls have started work on a multi-million-pound headquarters,
while work at Europe's largest straw-bale building will see
Sworders extend their floor space by 50%.
Special Auction Services (SAS) of Newbury have just announced
they have secured a second property.
Halls, a multi-discipline company of estate
agents, chartered surveyors and auctioneers in livestock, machinery
and fine art, are hoping to move from Welsh Bridge in Shrewsbury to
the Battlefield area of the town early next year. The 20,000 sq ft
building will have two fine art salerooms - one for selling, one
for set-up - plus dedicated offices and storage space.
The new site, easily accessible from the A49
and M54, is next to the Shrewsbury Auction Centre, used for Halls'
livestock sales, and includes around 150 car-parking spaces.
Halls' fine art director Jeremy Lamond said
he was "hugely excited" at the prospect of a move planned for
February 2013. "We have been pressing for new fine art salerooms
for the past decade and finally the new-build project is coming to
fruition," he said. "While our present town centre headquarters are
in a beautiful setting, they are entirely impracticable for a
modern auctioneering business."
Work is under way in Stansted Mountfitchet
to extend Sworders' saleroom.
The original saleroom was designed, built
and officially opened just four years ago. But Sworders' rapid
expansion, and its continued development of online bidding, mean
that the building is no longer big enough for the storage and sale
When it opened in 2008, the saleroom was
already the largest straw-bale building in Europe. Despite overseas
attempts to break the record, the building has kept the title and
now it will become even larger.
Sworders' managing director Guy Schooling
said: "As auctioneers we see ourselves as part of the recycling
industry. We pass items on from people who no longer require them
to new owners who pay good money to receive them. So to have our
flagship saleroom built in such an environmentally-friendly
technique reflects the very nature of what we do."
The building work will reduce access to the
rear of the Sworders' site in Stansted Mountfitchet this summer and
autumn. The new facility is expected to be fully operational by
SAS has acquired an extra 4500 sq ft unit at
Greenham Business Park, its base since 2010.
The firm is well-known for specialist sales
but they say an increasing demand for more general antiques and
collectables is behind the expansion, with new sales on the first
Tuesday of every month, starting on October 2.
As reported in June,
Tennants have brought forward plans to create a new wing at The
Auction Centre, the purpose-built venue just outside Leyburn
that has often been described as a model for the UK regional
saleroom. They are set to start construction at the beginning of
Hansons in Etwall, Derbyshire, Sheffield Auction Gallery and Adam Partridge in Macclesfield are all
regional auction firms who have moved to purpose-built premises in
the past year.