Stroud Auction Rooms is rebranding as Harper Field.

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The Gloucestershire firm, established in 2004 and currently based at the Bath Road Trading Estate, will change its name to Harper Field.

Building work will start in March on the saleroom and office on land just outside Stonehouse, to the west of Stroud, with plans to open by summer 2023.

The name change, a reference to the land on which the saleroom will be built, will be phased in over the next two years.

Great support

Auctioneer and owner Nick Bowkett has been working on the plans for the past five years and received planning permission in February 2020.

He said: “We had great support from Stonehouse Town Council and Stroud councillors. Art and antiques is probably the greenest industry there is and they really backed what we were doing.”

Stroud has 12 full and part-time consultants and specialists and Bowkett said the firm has grown between 10-20% over the past 10 years.

He added that the new location will have more space and a larger car park.

The total investment for the new building is £2m and Bowkett said his ambition is for the firm to grow further and eventually become one of “the top 10 regional auction houses” in the UK.

The site is close to junction 13 of M5, close to Stonehouse railway station and is on the banks of the Stroudwater Navigation canal. The site will also accommodate space for an office for charity Cotswold Boatmobility and visitor moorings for canal barges.

Bowkett said he was keen to make the building as green as possible and has spent £40,000 on solar panels.

He added: “We have also decided to try to mitigate the damage of building on this greenfield site by buying a similar-sized piece of orchard to set aside for wildlife nearby. Plans to acquire this are well advanced.”