The Mayor visited the new premises of a local entrepreneur’s flooring business which is on track to reach £50 million in sales.
Pictured from left: Josh and Jason Ashby, both from UK Flooring Direct; Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands; and Darren Gilbert, from UK Flooring Direct.
Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street has heralded an investment in Coventry as one of the “success stories of the region”.
Street made the comments after visiting a new warehouse and office complex recently opened in Coventry by online retailer UK Flooring Direct.
The company, which now employs more than 160 staff, was founded by Nuneaton entrepreneur Jason Ashby with an initial investment of £299 in a website.
15 years on, Jason’s company, which has a 57,000 sq ft headquarters in Hinckley, has annual sales worth £50 million in it sights as it opens the new 54,000 sq ft unit in Coventry.
Mayor Street, the former managing director of John Lewis, said UK Flooring Direct’s growth – all of which has been self-funded – has opened up employment possibilities for local people during difficult times.
He said: “I was very impressed with what I saw. The fact [the company] has opened its new base in Coventry means that there are opportunities available for local people at a time when the job market is not in a good state.
“The company is a great example of how investing in both technology and in people is key in taking a business to another level.”
Around 70 of the company’s existing workforce will be based at the new Prologis Park complex in Coventry, and the move is expected to create new jobs in a range of departments.
Jason Ashby said he was “very pleased” to welcome the Mayor, who he praised as having “led John Lewis through massive growth and established it as one of the most respected brands”.
He continued: “This is a significant move for us at what is a very exciting stage of the company’s growth.”