Cornwall LivingIssue #110

The future of storage

With the announcement that a high-tech storage solution is coming to Cornwall, we had to find out more…

Britannia Lanes is a family-run moving and storage company with four locations serving the South West. Sarah Lane, who heads up the office management, HR and recruitment for the business told us: ”No two moves are ever the same. One day we might be moving a standard three-bedroom house and the next we could be doing something more specialist.”

Each move is planned, depending on size, location and type, with a surveyor mapping out a bespoke plan for each. “It’s like a big jigsaw,” continues Sarah, “and it’s vital that every piece fits into place. That might mean putting a client’s furniture into storage if there is a time-gap between buying and selling. We have our own, on-site storage facilities which, actually, have never been busier as we are finding that sellers are keen to exchange in the current client even if they don’t have an immediate property to move to.”

With this in mind, Sarah was able to share with us the exciting news that they are shortly to launch a state of the art, contactless, satellite self-storage facility in south Cornwall that will be the first of its kind in the Duchy. “The idea is that you can just turn up and choose the size of room you require. You will then complete your contract digitally on a machine that will then give you an access code into the facility. The plan is, that this will just be the first of many of these across Cornwall. It’s important for us as a company, and for our customers, that we are agile and move with the times. We’re used to having peaks and troughs as our business obviously follows the, sometimes volatile, housing market. Our satellite storage will help manage this, both in terms of our business and our customers’ needs.”

Britannia Lanes has recently completed on the purchase of a warehouse just outside Falmouth that will be converted into a self-storage depot, with plans to create the most high-tech storage option in the South West, and one of the most futuristic in the whole country. The property – formerly storage for a marine drilling and geoscience company – will undergo a full renovation this year including mezzanine floors, a new roof, re-cladding and changes to the internal walls. Truro-based CSA Architects have created a concept design for the building, which shows large windows to the front elevation, curved roof panels and the distinctive red, white and blue Britannia colour scheme. The location at Bickland Water Road, Falmouth, is ideal for customers from Falmouth, Penryn, and surrounding areas and a specialist fit-out company will be installing 217 self-storage units across three levels.

Company Director, Mark Lane explained: “We have been offering self-storage for the past 20 years, but during that period the average time a client is willing to travel has dropped from 30 minutes to less than 15 minutes. With this in mind, we felt the moment was right to expand into the largest town in Cornwall, which will complement our current self-storage facilities in Truro, Exeter and Bridgwater.

“There is no such thing as a typical self-storage customer, so our units will be sized from 25sqft to 250sqft and customers will be able to choose a range of access times. Whether people are looking to store a couple of surfboards or large amounts of retail stock, we will be able to help them.”

Project Manager, Sarah Hawkey was also on-hand to tell us more about the high-tech features: “The facility will be completely unmanned, made possible via the use of a bespoke EPOS system (similar to a hotel self-check-in machine) that will manage the initial move in, contract and payment process. This software interlinks with a special phone app which allows keyless access to both the main door and your own unit. Our self-store managers in Truro will remotely monitor the Falmouth facility via this system and through the use of remote access CCTV.”   

So, whether you are looking for household, business or personal storage this unique solution could be the perfect solution. The team at Lanes tell us that they are looking forward to their grand opening later this summer, and to welcoming their first customers very soon. Watch this high-tech space…

Britannia Lanes of Cornwall

01872 560147