Blackpool hire firm in expansion

A tool hire company founded in Blackpool but which has spread across the North has expanded close to home.

Monday, 11th September 2017, 2:21 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 11:35 am
Rick Morris at the Cleveleys Smiths Hire It store

Smiths Hire has opened its revamped Cleveleys store in Fleetwood Road after taking over the vacant former Blockbuster unit next door.

The move coincides with the company’s move to rebrand stores as Hire It centres and the company is looking to open two more Hire It centres at Lancaster and in Leeds.

Founded as Smiths Equipment Hire in 1971 it now has 11 centres in the region plus its head office at Squires Gate.

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The business originated from a coal merchants operation run by the Smith family at the Old Tramsheds at Marton Depot.

As that part of the tram system fell out of use with the closure of the Layton and Central Drive tramways, it was used by the Vickers aircraft company during the war before being partially demolished for a BP garage.

The family took over part of the site in 1963 and in 1971 the hire business was launched. Gradual expansion followed and the latest new depot opened was in Liverpool in 2016.

Rick Morris, the Cleveleys Hire It Centre manager, has been with the company for 10 years.

He said: “The depot really needed something to make the place shine again and we couldn’t be happier with our new working environment.

“With the old Blockbuster next door coming up for sale, it was the perfect decision made by David and Thomas Smith (joint managing directors of Smiths Hire) to buy it and extend the depot.

“As well as the refurbishment on the inside, we had new signage fitted outside the depot on all sides of the building, which gives the depot a fresh look that can be seen from afar. From a staff point of view, it’s great to see that the team here really appreciate their surroundings and enjoy being in an all-new, more professional-looking working environment. It is also nice for the customers to have a rejuvenated Hire It Centre to visit.”

Smiths this year won the HAE - National Hire best website and electronic catalogue of the year award at the Grosvenor House London.