Interview Feature: Boxing Clever

Whether you’re a sole trader looking for support to distribute your product, or a large multi-national company that needs an experienced warehousing and fulfilment partner, the team at Burnside can help.

Burnside E-Commerce and Fulfilment may be a relatively new kid on the Tees Valley business block, but it is by no means a small one.

Occupying a 100,000 sq. ft building which stands proudly off the A66 in Middlesbrough, the business is certainly making its mark on the Tees Valley skyline. Owner Dave Nicholson tells us more about the company’s journey and his ambitious plans for the future…

The Tees Valley skyline is not short of iconic landmarks. From the Transporter Bridge, the longest working transporter bridge in the world, and the heavy industrial factories of the Teesside heartland, to the more cultural recent additions of the Temenos sculpture, found next to the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough, and the Infinity Bridge in Stockton, each plays a part in making this area truly unique.

Now, there’s a new player in town – meet Burnside E-Commerce and Fulfilment.
The company, founded by well-known businessman Dave Nicholson just two years ago, is hoping to cement its place as one of the area’s most recognisable businesses from its new home in a 100,000 sq.ft. building, located on a 10-acre just off the A66 in Middlesbrough,

The building stands loud and proud, its sheer size enough to make people sit up and take notice.

However, little over a year ago, it was an eyesore in the area, standing derelict, its only life the drug users and homeless who’d taken up residence there.

Dave said: “We were in the market for larger premises as we’d outgrown the existing space we occupied in Billingham and Skelton.

“I knew we’d be limited in the choice of available space to meet our needs, so when I found this building at Cambridge Road, I knew it was perfect for us.

“However, it was immediately evident that the relocation would not be without its challenges. The building was derelict and was being used by drug users and homeless people, and it was in one hell of a state.

“However, I could see beyond that and had a vision of what the facility could be like, if we could agree terms with the building’s owner.”

Now, following £300,000 of investment to refurbish the building and extensive work to regenerate the space and give it a new lease of life – all of which were completed in a matter of months – it is being used as the centre of distribution and e-commerce fulfilment activity for the company.

That’s no mean feat when you consider just how run down the building was when Dave and his team of six were first handed the keys.

Firmly settled into the building, whose exterior has been given a much-needed makeover complete with company branding, Burnside E-Commerce and Fulfilment is now working on establishing its profile within the Tees Valley business community.

Dave is also working with stakeholders and business support organisations to see how his company can benefit from the Freeport status that was granted to Tees Valley by the Government last year.

Covering 4,500 acres, the Teesside Freeport is the largest in the UK. To put the size into perspective, it is equivalent to 2,550 football pitches. It will create more than 18,000 jobs and provide a £3.2billion boost to the local economy over the next five years.

Freeports are secure customs zones located at ports where business can be carried out inside a country’s land border, but where different customs rules apply. They can reduce administrative burdens and tariff controls, provide relief from duties and import taxes, and ease tax and planning regulations. While located geographically within a country, they essentially exist outside its borders for tax purposes.

Dave said: “Unfortunately, we are located outside of the Freeport zone, however, that doesn’t mean we can’t benefit and what I’m looking at is how we can position ourselves so that we’re the partner of choice for those companies within the boundaries, particularly those who import and export goods and need secure storage space within a short distance of their logistics hub.

“It’s a hugely exciting time for the Tees Valley and as a fairly new addition to the area’s business community, I want to do everything I can to get people talking about Burnside E-Commerce and Fulfilment, which will help position us as the number one name within our sector.

“Our location is perfect; however, we know we need to get people aware of and talking about our business if we’re to really capitalise on the opportunities that are available through the Freeport status.”

So, what does the future hold for Burnside E-Commerce and Fulfilment? Business manager Seb Luder, who oversees all day to operations for the company, said: “Our business has evolved since we first launched two years ago and thanks to investment in market leading platforms and the simplified and transparent processes we’ve put in place, we’re able to offer a fully integrated service which streamlines the total fulfilment experience for our clients, who in turn continue to grow year on year.

“Whether you’re a sole trader looking for support to distribute your product, or a large multi-national company that needs an experienced warehousing and fulfilment partner, the team at Burnside can help.

“We’ve recently invested in high end e-commerce fulfilment space which we think will really enhance our offering to existing and potential clients. It’s the final stage of our refurbishment journey and really sets us up for where we want out business to go moving forward.”